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Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.

A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.

Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.

Ventura wasn’t present for the verdict and didn’t immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’s story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn’t believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday’s resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.

John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. Borger said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.

The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.

At least some of that money will be covered by “American Sniper” publisher HarperCollins’ insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.

Olsen also said Ventura’s side will ask HarperCollins to remove the disputed section from the book.

The section recounts an October 2006 confrontation that Chris Kyle said he had at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, who was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony. Kyle was at the bar for a wake for a fallen SEAL.

Olsen suggested in his closing argument that the jury award Ventura $5 million to $15 million to compensate him for damage to his reputation. He said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

Borger argued that 11 witnesses presented by the defense told a “compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s account.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A jury awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million on Tuesday in his lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.

On the sixth day of deliberations, the federal jury decided that the author of the 2012 best-selling book defamed Ventura in its description of a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle, regarded as the deadliest military sniper in U.S. history, wrote that he decked a man whom he later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.”

Ventura testified that Kyle fabricated the passage about punching him. Kyle said in testimony videotaped before his death last year that his story was accurate.

Legal experts had said Ventura, a former Navy SEAL, had to clear a high legal bar to win, since as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. According to the jury instructions, Ventura had to prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

Neither Ventura nor Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, who is the executor of his estate, were on hand for the verdict.

Ventura didn’t immediately return a message left at his Minneapolis-area home. But his attorney, David Bradley Olsen, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’ story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors left the courthouse Tuesday via a back entrance, declining to comment to waiting reporters. The jury told the judge Monday that it didn’t believe it could reach a unanimous verdict, but the judge instructed them to continue. Attorneys for both sides agreed Tuesday the verdict did not need to be unanimous and would allow a verdict if only eight of 10 jurors agreed.

Kyle attorney John Borger said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call that seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

After finding in favor of Ventura, the jury was also tasked with awarding damages for any harm to his reputation, humiliation and embarrassment. Jurors had to find that Ventura suffered an economic loss as a direct result of Kyle’s statements, or that Kyle used Ventura to profit unjustly.

In his closing argument, Ventura attorney David Bradley Olsen said he believes Kyle’s estate has earned more than $6 million from the book, and suggested that $5 million to $15 million would be reasonable compensation for what he said was irreparable harm to Ventura’s reputation.

Olsen said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

“One-point-five million people have bought the book,” he said. “Millions more heard Fox TV trash Jesse Ventura because of it. And the story went viral on the Internet and will be there forever.”

Defense attorney John Borger had told jurors in his own closing argument that the 11 witnesses presented by the defense “tell a compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s version.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, who is not related to the author, told jurors they weren’t charged with determining whether Ventura was punched, but rather whether he was defamed by the remarks Kyle attributed to him.

Chris Kyle included a brief account in his book of a confrontation at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man he called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, a former SEAL who became a pro wrestler and movie actor before being elected for one term as Minnesota governor in 1998. Ventura was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony.

Olsen said inconsistencies in testimony from defense witnesses about what happened the night of Oct. 12, 2006, were so serious that their stories couldn’t be trusted. He also pointed out that people who were with Ventura that night testified that the alleged confrontation never happened. And he said Ventura would never have said any of the remarks attributed to him because he remains proud of his and his parents’ military service.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A jury awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million on Tuesday in his lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.

On the sixth day of deliberations, the federal jury decided that the author of the 2012 best-selling book defamed Ventura in its description of a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle, regarded as the deadliest military sniper in U.S. history, wrote that he decked a man whom he later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.”

Ventura testified that Kyle fabricated the passage about punching him. Kyle said in testimony videotaped before his death last year that his story was accurate.

Legal experts had said Ventura, a former Navy SEAL, had to clear a high legal bar to win, since as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. According to the jury instructions, Ventura had to prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

Neither Ventura nor Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, who is the executor of his estate, were on hand for the verdict.

Ventura didn’t immediately return a message left at his Minneapolis-area home. But his attorney, David Bradley Olsen, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’ story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors left the courthouse Tuesday via a back entrance, declining to comment to waiting reporters. The jury told the judge Monday that it didn’t believe it could reach a unanimous verdict, but the judge instructed them to continue. Attorneys for both sides agreed Tuesday the verdict did not need to be unanimous and would allow a verdict if only eight of 10 jurors agreed.

Kyle attorney John Borger said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call that seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

After finding in favor of Ventura, the jury was also tasked with awarding damages for any harm to his reputation, humiliation and embarrassment. Jurors had to find that Ventura suffered an economic loss as a direct result of Kyle’s statements, or that Kyle used Ventura to profit unjustly.

In his closing argument, Ventura attorney David Bradley Olsen said he believes Kyle’s estate has earned more than $6 million from the book, and suggested that $5 million to $15 million would be reasonable compensation for what he said was irreparable harm to Ventura’s reputation.

Olsen said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

“One-point-five million people have bought the book,” he said. “Millions more heard Fox TV trash Jesse Ventura because of it. And the story went viral on the Internet and will be there forever.”

Defense attorney John Borger had told jurors in his own closing argument that the 11 witnesses presented by the defense “tell a compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s version.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, who is not related to the author, told jurors they weren’t charged with determining whether Ventura was punched, but rather whether he was defamed by the remarks Kyle attributed to him.

Chris Kyle included a brief account in his book of a confrontation at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man he called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, a former SEAL who became a pro wrestler and movie actor before being elected for one term as Minnesota governor in 1998. Ventura was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony.

Olsen said inconsistencies in testimony from defense witnesses about what happened the night of Oct. 12, 2006, were so serious that their stories couldn’t be trusted. He also pointed out that people who were with Ventura that night testified that the alleged confrontation never happened. And he said Ventura would never have said any of the remarks attributed to him because he remains proud of his and his parents’ military service.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A jury awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million on Tuesday in his lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.

On the sixth day of deliberations, the federal jury decided that the author of the 2012 best-selling book defamed Ventura in its description of a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle, regarded as the deadliest military sniper in U.S. history, wrote that he decked a man whom he later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.”

Ventura testified that Kyle fabricated the passage about punching him. Kyle said in testimony videotaped before his death last year that his story was accurate.

Legal experts had said Ventura, a former Navy SEAL, had to clear a high legal bar to win, since as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. According to the jury instructions, Ventura had to prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

Neither Ventura nor Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, who is the executor of his estate, were on hand for the verdict.

Ventura didn’t immediately return a message left at his Minneapolis-area home. But his attorney, David Bradley Olsen, said Ventura felt there were “no real winners in this trial.”

“He’s certainly grateful for the verdict but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired,” Olsen said, adding, “It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle’ story is a lie and was a fabrication.”

Jurors left the courthouse Tuesday via a back entrance, declining to comment to waiting reporters. The jury told the judge Monday that it didn’t believe it could reach a unanimous verdict, but the judge instructed them to continue. Attorneys for both sides agreed Tuesday the verdict did not need to be unanimous and would allow a verdict if only eight of 10 jurors agreed.

Kyle attorney John Borger said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.

“That was a strategic call that seemed appropriate at the time,” Borger said.

After finding in favor of Ventura, the jury was also tasked with awarding damages for any harm to his reputation, humiliation and embarrassment. Jurors had to find that Ventura suffered an economic loss as a direct result of Kyle’s statements, or that Kyle used Ventura to profit unjustly.

In his closing argument, Ventura attorney David Bradley Olsen said he believes Kyle’s estate has earned more than $6 million from the book, and suggested that $5 million to $15 million would be reasonable compensation for what he said was irreparable harm to Ventura’s reputation.

Olsen said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

“One-point-five million people have bought the book,” he said. “Millions more heard Fox TV trash Jesse Ventura because of it. And the story went viral on the Internet and will be there forever.”

Defense attorney John Borger had told jurors in his own closing argument that the 11 witnesses presented by the defense “tell a compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s version.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, who is not related to the author, told jurors they weren’t charged with determining whether Ventura was punched, but rather whether he was defamed by the remarks Kyle attributed to him.

Chris Kyle included a brief account in his book of a confrontation at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man he called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, a former SEAL who became a pro wrestler and movie actor before being elected for one term as Minnesota governor in 1998. Ventura was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony.

Olsen said inconsistencies in testimony from defense witnesses about what happened the night of Oct. 12, 2006, were so serious that their stories couldn’t be trusted. He also pointed out that people who were with Ventura that night testified that the alleged confrontation never happened. And he said Ventura would never have said any of the remarks attributed to him because he remains proud of his and his parents’ military service.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.

Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case

KDWN

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A jury awarded former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura $1.8 million on Tuesday in his lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.

On the sixth day of deliberations, the federal jury decided that the 2012 best-selling book defamed Ventura in its description of a bar fight in California in 2006. Kyle wrote that he decked a man whom he later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.”

Ventura testified that Kyle fabricated the passage about punching him. Kyle said in testimony videotaped before his death last year that his story was accurate.

Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, since as a public figure he had to prove “actual malice.” According to the jury instructions, Ventura had to prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.

The jury told the judge Monday that it didn’t believe it could reach a unanimous verdict, but the judge instructed them to continue. On Tuesday, attorneys for both sides agreed that the verdict did not need to be unanimous and would allow a verdict if only eight of 10 jurors agreed.

After finding in favor of Ventura, the jury was also tasked with awarding damages for any harm to his reputation, humiliation and embarrassment. Jurors had to find that Ventura suffered an economic loss as a direct result of Kyle’s statements, or that Kyle used Ventura to profit unjustly.

Neither Ventura nor Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, were in the courtroom for the verdict. Chris Kyle was slain at a Texas gun range last year, so his widow is executor of his estate with control over proceeds from book royalties and movie rights.

In his closing argument, Ventura attorney David Bradley Olsen said he believes Kyle’s estate has earned more than $6 million from the book, and suggested that $5 million to $15 million would be reasonable compensation for what he said was irreparable harm to Ventura’s reputation.

“The verdict will tell the world Chris Kyle’s story was a lie,” Olsen said.

Olsen said Kyle’s claims that Ventura said he hated America, thought the U.S. military was killing innocent civilians in Iraq and that the SEALs “deserve to lose a few” had made him a pariah in the community that mattered most to him – the brotherhood of current and former SEALs.

“One-point-five million people have bought the book,” he said. “Millions more heard Fox TV trash Jesse Ventura because of it. And the story went viral on the Internet and will be there forever.”

Defense attorney John Borger had told jurors in his own closing argument that the 11 witnesses presented by the defense “tell a compelling and consistent story” that backed Kyle’s version.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, who is not related to the author, told jurors they weren’t charged with determining whether Ventura was punched, but rather whether he was defamed by the remarks Kyle attributed to him.

Chris Kyle, regarded as the deadliest military sniper in U.S. history, included a brief account in his book of a confrontation at a bar in Coronado, California, with a man he called “Scruff Face.” In promotional interviews, Kyle identified the man as Ventura, a former SEAL who became a pro wrestler and movie actor before being elected for one term as Minnesota governor in 1998. Ventura was in Coronado for a SEAL reunion and graduation ceremony.

Olsen said inconsistencies in testimony from defense witnesses about what happened the night of Oct. 12, 2006, were so serious that their stories couldn’t be trusted. He also pointed out that people who were with Ventura that night testified that the alleged confrontation never happened. And he said Ventura would never have said any of the remarks attributed to him because he remains proud of his and his parents’ military service.

“The statement is completely out of character for Jesse Ventura. He never said anything like that in his life, and he never will,” he said.

Ventura testified that his income as a television personality fell sharply as job offers dried up in the wake of “American Sniper.” Borger said Ventura’s career as an entertainer was in decline well before that.