Jesse Ventura may have to get his reputation back some other way – his lawsuit against slain hero Chris Kyle’s widow and children is not going so well.
Ventura’s defamation lawsuit has been playing out in a Minnesota court for a week now as he seeks punish the estate of late “American Sniper” author and former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Ventura is suing Kyle’s widow Taya and his two children because of the damage done to his reputation by a story Kyle told about him in his autobiography.
Chris Kyle, who served in Iraq and had 160 confirmed kills, making him the deadliest marksman in American military history, mentioned Ventura by name as the person he punched at a bar popular with Navy SEAL personnel in Coronado while promoting his book American Sniper in 2012. Kyle claims Ventura had been loudly and obnoxiously slamming the Iraq War and the troops who fought it, during a wake for Michael A. Monsoor, a Medal of Honor recipient and Navy SEAL who had been killed in action in Iraq. Kyle, having heard enough, hauled off and decked Ventura. Allegedly.
Witness after witness came forward Tuesday to claim they heard at least part of Ventura’s ranting and saw parts of the fight – although there is a dispute about exactly where it occurred.
Here’s the Today’s Show’s brief synopsis of the case from Tuesday morning.
One saw him take a punch. Another said he saw him on the sidewalk outside a bar. Another saw him leave with blood on his lips.
(Ventura told fellow 9/11 truther and friend Alex Jones on his radio show in January of 2012 that the confrontation never occurred – he had never even met Kyle nor heard of him before.)
Rosemary deShazo, a friend of Chris Kyle’s who attended the wake, testified that she heard Ventura make a disparaging remark about U.S. Navy SEALs similar to the one Kyle described in “American Sniper.”
“He said, ‘They probably deserved it, they die all the time,’ ” she testified.
Under cross-examination DeShazo conceded that she was paraphrasing Ventura. But when asked by Kyle attorney Leita Walker how confident she was about the quote, she responded, “quite confident, very confident.”
DeShazo is a sister of Laura deShazo, who testified Monday that she saw Ventura punched in the bar.
Rosemary deShazo said she did not see a punch, but recalled Ventura’s remarks because of the context. “Unusual things that are emotional stick in your memory. I remember he offended me, offended people I was with.”
Also present was Debbie Lee, who started an organization called America’s Mighty Warriors after her son Marc Lee, 28, in 2006 became the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq.
Lee, who said she was a close friend of Chris Kyle, testified that Ventura expressed no sympathy to her about Monsoor’s death or the death of her son weeks earlier. She said he only wanted to talk about himself.
“I lost all respect for the man,” she testified.
Lee said she heard Ventura say that Americans don’t belong in Iraq and that President George W. Bush got involved in an unjust war. She said she did not see any physical altercation, but saw Kyle approach Ventura to discourage him from making offensive remarks.
She also said Kyle told her at breakfast the next morning that he had punched Ventura.
Lee also said the Kyles had personally given her $26,000. Taya Kyle testified last week that the money is part of an effort to disperse income from her late husband’s book to veterans’ causes.
John Kelly III, dressed in full U.S. Navy SEAL uniform, testified next and said that he saw Ventura lying on his back on a sidewalk outside McP’s moments after Ventura faced off with Kyle.
Kelly, a special operator 1st class SEAL, said that he had seen Kyle facing Ventura moments earlier, but did not see Kyle punch Ventura.
Kelly admitted he had been drinking heavily, having had 15 to 20 drinks, but that he was certain he had seen Ventura on the ground and that it appeared he had been knocked down.
He said he did not see Ventura get up.
‘He was cool’
Kelly said that earlier in the evening, he had shaken hands with Ventura and told him he’d seen him in the movies. “He was cool,” Kelly said. “He was very engaging, talking about the movies. You’re meeting one of your idols growing up.”
But after about 10 minutes of conversation with Kelly and others on the bar’s patio, Kelly said, the discussion “started getting more political.”
He said Ventura began “bad-mouthing the war” and said that the United States shouldn’t be in Iraq, “killing women and children.”
Kelly started to walk away because he didn’t want to lose his temper, he said. He said it was inappropriate for Ventura to be making such remarks at a wake. “You don’t go to a guy’s wake and bad-mouth,” he said.
Walker, the attorney, asked Kelly for his opinion of Ventura today.
“Worse,” said Kelly. “He’s suing a widow and two babies.”
Kelly said word of the altercation spread quickly in the bar, describing the SEALs as a “sewing circle” in which “members gossip but in a masculine way.”
There’s much more, but you’ll have to read the rest, here.
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!
Linked by the Minority Report, thanks!
Linked by Texas Hunting Forum, thanks!
Linked by AOSHQ, thanks!