Taya Kyle, widow of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle, will appeal a $1.8-million verdict against her husband's estate, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A federal jury found Kyle's estate liable for defamation earlier this year, finding in favor of former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura who argued that Kyle lied about him in his bestselling autobiography.
Kyle died in a shooting last year in Texas. Taya, the author's widow and executor of his estate, filed notice of the appeal with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday. The film "American Sniper," directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, opens in movie theaters on Christmas Day.
Last week, Kyle told Fox News that she would have to pay most of the judgment out of pocket. Ventura seemed confident she could cover the judgment, telling a radio host, "She’s making millions right now. She’s already made millions off the book. ... [S]he probably has more money than I do."
Ventura's lawsuit claimed that Chris Kyle invented a story about confronting Ventura in a San Diego-area bar in 2006. Kyle wrote that he punched Ventura for disrespectful comments the former governor and Navy veteran made about the Navy SEALs and George W. Bush. In the book, Kyle referred to the ex-professional wrestler only as "Scruff Face," but later confirmed publicly that he was writing about Ventura.
Earlier this month, Ventura filed another lawsuit over the book, this one directed at its publisher, HarperCollins.