Round two: After Ventura wins defamation suit against author, he sues publisher


Jesse Ventura is going another round in court over a bestselling book that he claims defamed him and harmed his reputation.

Ventura filed suit Monday against HarperCollins, the publisher of "American Sniper," a memoir by the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, over a section in the book that describes a bar fight with Ventura that the former Minnesota governor claims never happened, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

In the book, Kyle described a scene in a California bar where he punched out another man – whom he identified as “Scruff Face” in the book – because the man made disparaging remarks about SEALS. Kyle later said in an interview that Scruff Face was Ventura.

Ventura, a former pro wrestler and Navy veteran himself, who has gone on to become a TV personality, hotly denied that the fight ever happened and he filed a defamation suit against Kyle, claimed the book anecdote harmed his reputation and caused him lost income.

After a nine-day trial in federal court in July, the jury agreed with Ventura and awarded him $1.8 million. Last month a judge rejected a request from Kyle's widow, Tara, to overturn the verdict. Chris Kyle was shot and killed last year on a Texas gun range.

Now Ventura is going after the money earned by HarperCollins for publishing the book.

The latest lawsuit claims the publicity “generated by the false and defamatory story about Ventura substantially increased sales of ‘American Sniper,’ thereby generating millions of dollars in revenues and profits for Harper Collins," according to the Pioneer Press.

The suit seeks $150,000, according to the Star Tribune, which notes that Ventura will likely ask for a higher amount if the two sides try to settle the case before it goes to trial.

Shortly after the July verdict, HarperCollins removed the offending section from the book. The company declined to comment on the new lawsuit, the Star Tribune reports.

"American Sniper" has been made into a movie, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, which will be released in theaters later this month.

There is no indication the incident involving Ventura is in the film.

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