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Jesse Ventura wins defamation suit, throws pizza party on courtroom steps

"The verdict will tell the world Chris Kyle's story was a lie," Ventura's lawyer says.
By Matt Bradwell Follow @mckb26 Contact the Author   |   July 29, 2014 at 4:27 PM
| License Photo
ST. PAUL, Minn., July 29 (UPI) -- Former Navy SEAL and Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura won his federal defamation case against the estate of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle, invalidating portions of Kyle's best-seller and winning nearly $2,000,000 in damages.

After weeks of deliberation in an attempt to achieve the required unanimous decision, both sides agreed to a split decision, with jurors siding with Ventura by an 8 to 2 count, awarding him $500,000 in defamation damages and $1.345 million for "unjust enrichment" from the now-deceased author.

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 that 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.

"The verdict will tell the world Chris Kyle's story was a lie," Ventura's attorney David Bradley Olsen told reporters after the trial.

"We don't know what others may think, but certainly with this generation of young SEALs, we don't know that his reputation can ever be repaired."

Despite not being present when the verdict was announced, Ventura had friend Sam Goldsmith order celebratory pies from Domino's to deliver to reporters when the trial concluded.

"You sat diligently here for two weeks," Ventura said through Goldsmith.

"I hope the guys enjoy it."

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