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Ventura nemesis thrusts himself into the The Body's libel suit

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For years Leslie Davis, a self-described environmental activist from Minneapolis, has created a side gig tweaking Jesse Ventura. Now Davis has joined the fray in the former Minnesota governor's lawsuit against dead Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.

Davis has been granted a hearing on his request to intervene in Ventura's suit against Kyle's estate. In particular, Davis wants a judge to unseal the sworn deposition Ventura gave in the case, reports the Pioneer Press.

A brief recap: Kyle was largely considered the most deadly sniper in American history, with 160 known kills notched on his belt. He wrote a best selling book, "American Sniper," about his career. In promoting the book in January 2012, Kyle went on Bill O'Reilly's television show and Opie and Anthony's satellite radio show to recount a passage in the book that claimed Kyle tossed Ventura in a bar fight.

Ventura was not mentioned by name in the book, but Kyle confirmed it was the former Navy UDT man, professional wrestler, Minnesota governor and media personality we know as Jesse Ventura. Ventura, for his part, denied the altercation that supposedly happened at a bar in California in 2006, during a gathering for a former SEAL who had recently been killed in Iraq. Then he sued for defamation.

In the meantime, Kyle was fatally shot in February 2013, by an Iraq vet that he had befriended. Ventura pressed on, naming Kyle's widow Taya in his suit.

Back to Leslie Davis:

"There's information in there that might not be true," Davis claims in an interview with the PiPress. "I want to review that."

Davis says he'll represent himself at the July 2 hearing in federal court in Minneapolis.

During Ventura's stint as governor, Davis wrote a book called "Always Cheat: The Philosophy of Jesse Ventura" and in 2003, Ventura got a restraining order prohibiting Davis and another man from harassing him, reports the St. Paul paper.

In a legal memo filed Wednesday, an attorney for Ventura opposed Davis' request, calling it "only the latest episode in an obsessive and long-standing quest to discredit and harass Governor Ventura."

Davis wrote in his his four-page petition, filed Friday, that he wants the deposition made public because he had "an important interest to protect," namely, the claims he makes about Ventura in his book.

Davis wrote in his book that Ventura portrays himself as having been a member of the Navy's Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) special forces unit, when he was actually a member of the Underwater Demolition Teams, or UDTs.

Ventura's attorney responded to the motion, says the PiPress, by writing that while Davis "is certainly entitled to his opinions about Governor Ventura," the petition should be rejected because, among other reasons, the man's claims have nothing to do with the defamation suit.

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