*UPDATE: Appeals court rejects $1.8M award to Jesse Ventura in ‘American Sniper’ case
MINNEAPOLIS – A federal appeals court on Monday threw out $1.8 million in damages awarded to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who said he was defamed by the late author Chris Kyle in the bestselling book “American Sniper.”
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also sent a portion of the case — Ventura’s defamation claim — back to the district court for a new trial, saying Ventura’s attorneys made improper remarks and the trial court “clearly abused its discretion in denying a new trial.”
In 2014, a jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, appealed, asking that the verdict be thrown out or that a new trial be ordered on First Amendment and other grounds. Ventura’s lawyers, however, argued that jury got the verdict right.
In Monday’s ruling, a three-judge appellate panel reversed the unjust-enrichment award, saying the theory of unjust-enrichment “enjoys no legal support under Minnesota law” and fails as a matter of law.
The majority of the judges also vacated the defamation award and sent that portion of the case back to court for a new trial.
The majority found that Ventura’s attorneys improperly let the jury hear that publisher HarperCollins had an insurance policy to cover a defamation award and attorney fees. The majority said those comments prevented Kyle’s estate from receiving a fair trial and that Ventura’s attorneys deliberately referenced a “deep-pocket insurer” to try to influence the jury and enhance damages.
Read more: Fox News
Bryan Sikes, Green Beret badass, calls out Jesse Ventura in this scathing rant:
By Bryan Sikes, SFC, USA
Clash Daily Guest Columnist
I’m officially calling you out Jesse Ventura, you dirtbag imposter. Let it be known to all that take a minute to read this: if you cannot undeniably prove you were once a SOF guy or a SEAL, it’s because you never were one. I don’t know how it would be possible to be a former/current SOF operator and not have irrefutable proof. The fact that this claim still remains a topic of debate has led me and many others to believe you never were a SEAL.
Jesse, for your own information, just because you may have met an operator in passing or one that allowed you the privilege of shaking their hand, doesn’t make you one. Chasing an alien through the jungle in a movie doesn’t make you one either. But hey, if I’m wrong, then prove it tough guy. Being “sort of” a SEAL doesn’t make you a SEAL. Leading people to believe that you killed people during interviews doesn’t mean you actually killed people either.
Let’s assume for a moment that you actually had the intestinal fortitude to successfully complete any sort of selection course to become an operator; you egregiously violated rule number 1 in Special Operations…You NEVER f*#k with a fellow operator’s family. For those that don’t know, Jesse Ventura is suing Taya Kyle, wife of Chris Kyle and author of the book, American Sniper. Chris Kyle, a man respected by all of SOF, was murdered in 2013 at a gun range and Ventura is suing his wife for…get this…defamation of character? That’s laughable.
I thought you had to have some substance of character to be defamed in the first place?
You’re a joke, plain and simple.
You claim to be a former operator but you are more than willing to violate a sacred rule and sue the wife of one? That’s real badass of you, I’m sure you’ve got a lot of operator friends in your corner on this one. I’ll be the first to tell you, your job offers didn’t dry up as a result of claims made in Kyle’s book about you being punched in the face for running your mouth. They dried up because you’re a washed up loser that has nothing to offer. Worst yet, you’re not even a “has been”, you’re a “never was.” Go back to reporting about conspiracy theories on cable access and late night AM radio.
I know how important it is for you to have your “good name” cleared…..right? You did say in an interview about this pending lawsuit, “It’s not about the money; it’s about clearing my name. It’s a lie.” Well, in the unlikely event you actually win this lawsuit, and it isn’t about the money, I‘d expect you to keep to your word and donate any monetary settlement to the Special Operations Wounded Warrior Foundation or something similar.
In closing, Jesse, I do apologize to you in advance for not writing this in crayon or having pictures for you to follow along with, but maybe you can have your lawyer read it to you. Lastly, you don’t look like a traitor to the military because of Kyle’s claims; you’re a Traitor for going after an operator’s family.
-Bryan Sikes, SFC, USA
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