Ventura: ‘American Sniper’ Lawsuit Aimed at Insurer, not Widow

By Jeff Baenen | February 12, 2014

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura contends he isn’t going after the widow of slain “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle by continuing his defamation lawsuit, but rather the publisher’s insurance company.

“It’s not me against her,” Ventura said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Ventura alleges that Kyle, considered to be the deadliest sniper in American history, defamed him in his best-selling book. In it, the former Navy SEAL describes a 2006 bar fight in which he claims he punched someone named “Scruff Face,” whom he later identified as Ventura. Ventura, also a former Navy SEAL and pro wrestler, says the fight never happened.

“It’s never been about money. It’s about clearing my name. It’s a lie,” Ventura said.

Kyle and a friend were killed in February 2013 at a Texas gun range; an Iraq war veteran whom Kyle was trying to help is accused in the killings. A federal judge has allowed Ventura’s lawsuit to proceed with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant.

Ventura said that by becoming executor of her husband’s estate, “she chose to come into this case.” But in a September court filing, Taya Kyle’s attorneys said she did not “voluntarily inject herself” into the lawsuit and that insurance would not cover all of the possible costs and damages.

Ventura’s comments came after being asked about the case during an interview to promote his new show, “Off the Grid,” on digital network Ora TV.

The former governor, who left office in 2003, said his show gives him freedom to talk about whatever he wants. Ventura said the show is “a step up” from when he had a short-lived Saturday evening talk show on MSNBC in late 2003.

“I have complete control,” Ventura said.

Latest Comments

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm
    Libby says:
    I think he's saying there could be allegations that are not covered (intent, punitive damages, etc.)
  • February 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm
    BS says:
    Not saying that she should/shouldn’t have been brought into the suit, but I’m confused as to why the insurance wouldn’t cover the costs and damages. Just about every pol... read more
  • February 13, 2014 at 10:28 am
    txmouthbreatherboogereatertx says:
    Everyone knows that Mr. Rogers was the deadliest sniper in US history. That's why he wore sweaters all the time. He had each one of his confirmed kills tattooed on his arms.
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