“The Body” may not get the money or the vindication he sought, after all.
This week, an appeals court indicated that the long-running lawsuit between the estate of military hero Chris Kyle and former pro wrestler and Minnesota Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura may go back to square one for a new trial.
Ventura had sued Kyle for defamation over a passage in Kyle’s book, American Sniper. Kyle, an ex-Navy SEAL, wrote about a fight with a man he called “Scruff Face,” who had told Kyle the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” in Iraq. In the book, Kyle said he “laid him out.” Kyle later identified Ventura as the man who belittled the SEALs.
Ventura, a former SEAL himself, denied Kyle’s claims. He then filed a lawsuit that continued even after Kyle was killed in 2013. In 2014, Ventura was awarded $1.8 million — $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for “unjust enrichment.”
However, all that may change.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is considering a new trial because one of Ventura’s lawyers told the jury that any award to Ventura would be paid by Haper Collins, which published Kyle’s book, and not his estate.
Ventura is ready to keep fighting, saying that he’s suffered a lot due to the “lies” in the book.
The lawyer representing Kyle and his estate wants the whole case thrown out, saying it infringes on Chris Kyle’s First Amendment rights.