Ventura's defamation case to stay in Minnesota

Author:
Publish date:

The trial stemming from a defamation lawsuit brought on by former Gov. Jesse Ventura will stay in Minnesota, according to a ruling by a federal judge Tuesday morning.

Ventura filed suit against the late Chris Kyle, former Navy SEAL and author of "American Sniper," claiming a reference to the former governor in the book is injuring his reputation.

Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, sought to move the trial to Dallas, where she lives with her two young children. The Star Tribune reports U.S. Judge Richard Kyle said moving the trial would be too expensive.

The Pioneer Press pointed out that the judge is also doing away with Ventura's title as "governor."

"I don't see any reason why he shouldn't just be referred to as 'Jesse Ventura,'" Judge Kyle told lawyers Tuesday.

Ventura served one term as governor in Minnesota from 1999 to 2003.

In his book “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History,” Chris Kyle says that he punched a man identified as "Scruff Face" in a California bar in 2006. The author later acknowledged the man he was referring to was Ventura.

Chis Kyle had also claimed in the book that Ventura, a former Navy Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) man, had been bad-mouthing the SEALs prior to the punch, but Ventura adamantly denies that and that the punch ever happened.

In a deposition, Ventura says the story has curbed his ability to find work and left him fretting that people think he is a traitor.

Ventura had originally sued Kyle, who was shot and killed at a gun range in Texas in February. In July, the judge ruled that Ventura’s case could continue against Taya Kyle.

The trial is scheduled for May 1, 2014.

Next Up

Related