Jesse Ventura's Suit Against Dead Navy SEAL Begins

'American Sniper' author said he punched out the ex-governor

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 10, 2014 3:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – A truly strange court proceeding kicked off in Minnesota this week, as former governor/professional wrestler Jesse Ventura brought his defamation suit against murdered American Sniper author Chris Kyle. The Washington Post has a great recap of the dispute, which stems from Kyle's 2012 book. In it, Kyle writes that he punched out a celebrity in a bar for saying that the SEALS "deserve to lose a few" for their actions overseas. Kyle refers to the celebrity only as "Mr. Scruff Face" in the book, but later identified him as Ventura.

Ventura pursued the suit even after Kyle's death, because he says the incident didn't happen and he has to clear his name. In his opening statement, his lawyer said Ventura would testify that Kyle "made the whole story up." Yesterday saw Kyle testify from beyond the grave, with a 2012 video deposition in which he said he left Ventura's name out of the book because—you guessed it—he was afraid of being sued, the AP reports.

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura makes his way back into Warren E. Burger Federal Building in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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