Ventura: 'I wanted my reputation given back to me' - KMSP-TV

Ventura: 'I wanted my reputation given back to me'

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About a week after Jesse Ventura was awarded $1.8 million in damages in a defamation lawsuit against the estate of  "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle,Ventura announced on his Facebook page he'd be posting a video statement on Tuesday to answer questions about the trial.

Before filming the segment that will also air on his online series "Off the Grid," Ventura told Fox 9 he doesn't like getting "beaten up" over the trial, but that a trial was the only way to clear his name.

"I don't like the fact that I'm being beaten up for allegedly going after a widow and children, because the lawsuit was filed long before she was a widow, and people need to remember there's not two sets of laws," Ventura said.

"When you're a plaintiff, there is no insurance for a plaintiff. Most of the time, defendants are mostly covered by insurance, which in this case, was true. She didn't have to pay for any of that table of lawyers that were there. I did."

Ventura also mentioned that during their 5 settlement conferences, there was never a movement to "restore" Ventura's representation and never a mention of the alleged fabrication of Kyle's story.

"They offered me money, but I turned it down, because I wanted my reputation given back to me, and the only place that could happen was in court," Ventura added.

The announcement

To my vigilant viewers, supporters, and those who have dedicated an exuberant amount of time trolling my page over the last few days:

1.) I will be making a formal video statement here tomorrow, August 5th to answer your questions about the trial and to give more clarity on what really happened.

2.) I greatly appreciate those who have taken the time to truly educate themselves as best they can about what happened in the trial. If you weren't in the courtroom, then you don't know what happened. Unfortunately, if you read the dumbed-down headlines the mainstream media is throwing out there to sensationalize this, you aren't getting the truth either. This case was too complex to be boiled down to less than 140 twitter characters.

Ventura also shared a series of articles, encouraging readers to do "some critical thinking."

The verdict

After a 3-week trial, the jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for the author's unjust enrichment. The 10-person jury ultimately voted in favor of Ventura 8-2.

Ventura's claim

Ventura's lawsuit claims he was defamed by former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle both in his book “American Sniper” and in TV and radio interviews used for the book's promotion. Kyle's chapter "Punching Out Scruff Face" tells the alleged story of Kyle punching Ventura in a California bar in 2006 after Ventura told Kyle “you deserve to lose a few,” referencing the SEALS who'd been killed in action in Iraq.

Kyle didn't use Ventura's name in the book, but he did on Bill O'Reilly and on the Opie and Anthony radio show after the hosts used Ventura's name first. Kyle then confirmed it was Ventura and repeated the very specific quote and the story of punching out Minnesota's former governor.

Ventura said in court that he doesn't feel defamed by the claim of getting decked, but defamed by that specific quote, which depicts him as wishing death on fellow Americans.

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