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'American Sniper' widow appeals Jesse Ventura's defamation award

"She's making millions right now," Ventura said of Taya Kyle.
By Matt Bradwell   |   Dec. 26, 2014 at 3:32 PM
| License Photo

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- The widow of Chris Kyle, author of "American Sniper" and subject of Clint Eastwood's latest film of the same name, is appealing former Navy SEAL and Minnesota Gov. of Minnesota Jesse Ventura's successful defamation award against Kyle's estate.

In July, Ventura was awarded $1.845 million in an 8-to-2 decision in his favor for claims made by Kyle in American Sniper Ventura says were fabricated and damaging to Ventura's career and reputation.

As UPI reported at the time:

In his memoir American Sniper, Kyle claimed to have punched Ventura after the outspoken WWE Hall of Famer allegedly said the SEALs "deserve to lose a few."

Ventura argued this anecdote was not true and it cost him his reputation among SEALs, as well as his earning potential as an entertainer and military personality.

As Kyle died in a 2013 shooting incident, his widow, Taya, is on the hook for most of the damages. She claims insurance only covers $500,000 of the nearly $2 million awarded to Ventura.

"She's making millions right now," an unsympathetic Ventura told Minnesota's WCCO Radio.

"She's already made millions off the book. ... She's not hurting. She's doing speaking engagements throughout the country, traveling all over ... She probably has more money than I do."

Earlier in December, Ventura filed a second lawsuit over Kyle's claims in "American Sniper," this time against publisher HarperCollins. At the time of the decision, David Bradley Olsen, Ventura's attorney in the suit, said his team successfully proved Kyle's writing "was a lie" in the eyes of the law.

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