A federal jury in Minnesota has awarded $1.8 million to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura after a trial in which Ventura contended he had been defamed in a memoir by the late military sniper Chris Kyle.
The jury, sitting in St, Paul, was on its sixth day of deliberations when when it returned the verdict on Tuesday morning. A copy of the ruling was not immediately available.
Ventura sued Kyle's estate for what he claims are lies in the SEAL's 2012 book, “American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in
Ventura testified that Kyle invented a story about punching him in a California bar in 2006 after Ventura supposedly made remarks insulting Navy SEALs. The bar, McP's Irish Pub & Grill in Coronado, is a popular spot for Navy SEALs, the elite special operations force. A SEAL training base is nearby.
In his book, Kyle says that in 2006 he punched out someone he describes as a “scruff face” fellow at McP's because he was being disrespectful toward President
In television interviews, and then in a deposition, Kyle identified the "scruff face" as Ventura.
In a short chapter titled "Punching Out Scruff Face," the book says: "Being level-headed and calm can last only so long. I laid him out. Tables flew. Stuff happened. Scruff Face ended up on the floor."