Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura told The Daily Caller that he does not regret suing “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and doubled down on his case against the fallen sniper’s widow.
“Not at all. Chris Kyle lied,” Ventura told TheDC when asked if he regretted filing his defamation lawsuit against Kyle and continuing the suit against Kyle’s widow after Kyle’s death.
Ventura was awarded $1.845 million in the case, which stemmed from Kyle’s claim in his book that he punched Ventura in a bar because Ventura said that Navy SEALs deserved to lose some wartime battles.
Ventura, who now hosts a show on Ora TV, responded to angry Kyle supporters.
“First of all, how could anyone be angry with me? I didn’t do anything. Chris Kyle made up a story and lied. He wrote about it. All I asked for was it to be retracted and an apology. [Kyle and his publisher] refused. They would not admit to lying or fabrication, and they would not restore my reputation. So therefore, they left me with no choice but to go to court. That was the only alternative I was left with. I was backed into a corner so I went to court to prove that what Chris Kyle said about me was a lie. So Kyle’s supporters, in other words, support Chris’s lie?”
“The only way to clear my name and attempt to gain my reputation back was to go to court and do it in a court of law. We did it. The federal judge and his final ruling stated that there was substantial evidence to support the verdict. Substantial. When are these Chris Kyle supporters going to read that and understand that substantial means a great deal of evidence? Not a little bit, but a great deal of evidence.”
Why did he continue with the lawsuit even after Kyle’s death?
“First of all, I sued Kyle before his death. Unfortunately, he died. I wish he would have lived. I chose to go ahead because there was no retraction [from him or his publisher]. It was destroying my reputation. I lost my TV series, I could not get a job, and the lie was hurting me and my family immensely. It hurt my reputation in the military community, where I was now unwanted in the UTD SEAL association — all because of his lie,” Ventura said.
“They left me with no recourse but to go to court. So, it wasn’t me choosing to go to court, it was them choosing to force me into court. They would not tell the truth, and they would not admit that Chris Kyle lied. So that’s why I chose to continue, it’s the natural progression of the court system. After Kyle died, the only way to have my day in court and to prove the lie was to substitute his estate as the defendant. Taya Kyle did not have to be the executor. She could have agreed to have a relative, family friend, lawyer, accountant or any other trusted person be appointed, but I guess the estate’s lawyers thought they would have a better chance of winning if Kyle’s widow sat at the table with them.”
“What he wrote about me never happened. That’s the bottom line, and no I don’t regret it. I’d do it again tomorrow because to me the truth is important. As I’ve said before, a hero has to have honor, and you cannot have honor if you’re a liar. What I’d like to ask the Chris Kyle supporters is why is it okay for Chris Kyle to make up a story and lie about a Vietnam veteran? I can tell you unequivocally, we Vietnam veterans would have never done that to a Korean veteran or World War II veteran, throwing them under the bus for fame, fortune and jealousy or whatever it might have been.”
And what does Ventura think about the Oscar-nominated movie “American Sniper,” based on Kyle’s life?
“Well, I wasn’t in the United States when it was released. I was already off the grid in Mexico. In my opinion, in what I’ve read and heard about it and what I know about it, it’s a propaganda movie because [Clint Eastwood] made it appear that the Iraq war was a response to 9/11 and he took other liberties with history, making it about as authentic as ‘Dirty Harry.'”