On Monday, June 13, 2016, a federal appeals court vacated a lower court’s ruling that had awarded Jesse Ventura $1.8 million ($500,000 for demamation and $1.3 million for “unjust enrichment”) for a claim against the late Chris Kyle. Most everyone remembers Kyle and his exploits as a U.S. Navy SEAL and being America’s deadliest sniper.
Ventura’s lawsuit claimed that Kyle lied in his autobiography, “American Sniper” about knocking Ventura down. The incident occurred at a wake for Medal of Honor recipient Michael Mansoor in a SEAL bar after Ventura supposedly said, “y’all deserved to lose a few guys.” This was definitely not the best thing to say in front of a gathering of Navy SEALS!
Ventura filed a lawsuit against Kyle but refiled it against Kyle’s estate and his widow, Taya, after Kyle’s death. He claimed loss of income after publication of Chris’ book. This was a tactless thing to do now that Kyle couldn’t defend himself in court.
EXPOSED: Chris Kyle Killer Didn’t Have PTSD, Was A Typical Anti-War Libertarian Like Bradley Manning, Ron Paul, Jesse Ventura
Media affairs expert Bernie Goldberg told Bill O’Reilly on his July 31, 2014 edition of The O’Reilly Factor, “From a public relations point of view, Ventura should’ve walked out of the courtroom with his victory and, in front of all those cameras, and say, “I did this because I wanted to clear my name but for the money…I’m giving that to the widow of the Navy SEAL because she needs it to raise her family””.
But there is more to this story. Before he died, Chris Kyle made a commitment to donate all proceeds from his book to the struggling families of his two friends, fallen SEALs, Ryan Job and Marc Lee.
After Ventura went after Taya Kyle, she said on her Facebook page, “For those of you who are in shock and speechless as I have been today… Rest assured… When it comes to my family, honor and standing up for what is right… As my dear friends Marcus and Melanie Luttrell say… “I AM NEVER OUT OF THE FIGHT!”
However, as of Feb. 18, 2015, Mrs. Kyle has distributed none of the estimated #6 million to those two families. Unfortunately, there has been no further news to indicate the situation has changed since then.
The question now, of course, is will Ventura re-file the lawsuit. It’s too early to indicate one way or the other. But there are two things we do know: an honorable man wouldn’t; and Ventura went after Kyle’s widow while she was still mourning.
That was not an honorable thing to do.