Jury awards $1.8M to Ventura in Chris Kyle lawsuit; Twitter users outraged

Jury awards $1.8M to Ventura in Chris Kyle lawsuit; Twitter users outraged

In its sixth day of deliberations, a federal jury awarded conspiracy theorist and former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in his defamation lawsuit against the estate of celebrated Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle.

The trial began on Tuesday, July 9, with the selection of a ten-person jury. The jury panel began deliberation following closing arguments and instructions on Thursday the 24th.

The lawsuit was filed over remarks Kyle had made about a bar fight involving Ventura and described in Kyle’s bestselling book, “American Sniper,” according to an Associated Press report via ABC News.

Kyle alleged in his book that the fight, which he said took place in 2006, was prompted by Ventura’s remarks that he hated America, that Americans were killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few.”

According to the AP report:

Chris Kyle included a brief account in his book of a confrontation at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man he called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, a former SEAL who became a pro wrestler and movie actor before being elected for one term as Minnesota governor in 1998. Ventura was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony.

After Ventura filed his lawsuit, Kyle was murdered in an unrelated incident. Ventura elected to proceed with the suit anyway against Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the executor of her husband’s estate.

Kyle’s attorney, John Borger, reminded jurors during his closing argument that during the course of the trial, his team had presented 11 witnesses to the events in the bar that night, all of whom “tell a compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s recollection of events, according to the AP.

As soon as the verdict was published, Twitter erupted in outrage. Here are a few examples collected by the Twitchy team.

Actor Chris Ashton (HBO’s “The Wire”) saw irony in the verdict:

CNN’s Anderson Cooper was flabbergasted:

One of Ventura’s loyal fans (I didn’t hear from his other one) took exception to Cooper’s comment — but the “A/C-360” host shut him right down:

Check out the tweets we couldn’t publish by going to Twitchy.

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz

Michael Dorstewitz is a recovering Michigan trial lawyer and former research vessel deck officer. He has written extensively for BizPac Review.


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