Jesse Ventura versus Chris Kyle's ghost
Chris Kyle, SEAL extraordinaire rocketed to fame with his book American Sniper when he claimed to be the most lethal American sniper in American history with 160 confirmed hits. In his autobiography, he wrote about punching out a man he called “Scruff Face” in Coronado California in a bar when Scruff Face bad mouthed the Navy SEALs. Jesse Ventura was in town for a SEAL reunion.
Ventura was a heavy weight champion former actor who turned to politics and became the governor of Minnesota, and later hosted a Conspiracy theory show.
Ventura denied that Kyle punched him but Kyle stuck by his story in a videotape he made before his death last year. Ventura sued Kyle's Estate. Kyle was killed on a range last year by a deranged former trooper he was helping.
Witnesses hardly ever can give identical accounts, and the testimonies about the event differed enough to confuse jurors. Ventura claimed that his career was trashed after Kyle made claimed that Ventura said that he hated the United States and that The SEALS “deserve to loose a few” since the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq.
He further claimed that Fox News had trashed him after Kyle revealed "Scruff Face's" identity, and that the story had gone viral on the social media and websites in addition to the one and a half million who bought Kyle’s best selling book reading the account. He also claimed that Kyle used his high profile name to promote sale of his books.
The jury found that Ventura’s reputation was hurt because of the remarks and news coverage of the Kyle claims and that he had suffered damages economically as well as emotionally. The jury awarded him 1.8 million dollars.
Rather a scary precedent this jury decided. Politicians and political figures have a very high burden of proof to show damage since they voluntarily put themselves out in the public to become fair game for critics. That is until some recent cases like this that give them the green light to go after critics.