$1.8M 'American Sniper' Award Yanked From Ventura

Federal appeals court overturns judgment for ex-Minn. governor in Chris Kyle case
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2016 11:18 AM CDT
$1.8M 'American Sniper' Award Yanked From Ventura
This combination of file photos shows the late Chris Kyle, left, former Navy SEAL and author of the book "American Sniper," on April 6, 2012, and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, right, on Sept. 21, 2012.   (AP Photo/File)

Ex-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was set to collect $1.8 million from the estate of Chris Kyle, claiming the late Navy SEAL defamed him in his 2012 book American Sniper, but a federal appeals court nixed that 2014 judgment on Monday, the AP reports. In a 2-1 decision, the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals nullified Ventura's $1.35 million award for "unjust enrichment," though it did call for a new trial for the defamation part of the case, which netted Ventura $500,000, the Star Tribune reports. The court said due to improper cross-examination of witnesses and comments made by Ventura's lawyer during closing arguments, Kyle's estate didn't get a fair trial, per Reuters.

The 2006 incident in question that Ventura balked at: Kyle's description in his book of a supposed altercation in which he punched Ventura in a California bar after Ventura goaded him by saying Navy SEALs "deserve to lose a few" in Iraq. Ventura, a former SEAL himself, says he never made that remark and that there was no punch. "I would have been a big-time loser had I not pursued the lawsuit, because … the whole story was fabricated," Ventura told CBS News in 2014. "I was accused of treason, which in the military is the death penalty." (Meanwhile, a report says Kyle exaggerated his war record.)

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