Man seeks to get Jesse Ventura libel suit deposition made public

June 20, 2013 at 3:16 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, June 20 (UPI) -- An environmental activist was granted a hearing on his request to intervene in former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's libel suit against a deceased Navy SEAL.

Leslie Davis asked a judge to unseal the sworn deposition Ventura gave in his libel suit against former SEAL Chris Kyle's recounting of a bar fight in his book, "American Sniper," the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.

Kyle said he and a man identified as "Scruff Face" mixed it up after Scruff Face made derogatory comments about the war in Iraq during a wake for a SEAL killed in action. Kyle later acknowledged Scruff Face is Ventura, who has denied Kyle's allegation he provoked the alleged bar fight by saying the SEALS "deserve to lose a few" in Iraq, or that Kyle "laid him out."

"There's information in there [Ventura's deposition] that might not be true," Davis said in an interview. "I want to review that."

Davis said he will represent himself July 2 at a federal court hearing in Minneapolis.

In a legal document filed Wednesday, an attorney for Ventura opposed Davis' request, calling it "the latest episode in an obsessive and long-standing quest to discredit and harass Governor Ventura."

Ventura, who hosted a television show on TruTV, gave a sworn deposition Nov. 12 that hasn't been entered into the public record. Davis filed a motion June 5 to have the document made public, which Chief U.S. Magistrate Arthur Boylan denied, saying Davis wasn't a party to the case and didn't have permission to intervene.

In his petition to intervene filed Friday, Davis said he wants the deposition made public because he had "an important interest to protect," namely, claims he makes about Ventura in his book, "Always Cheat: The Philosophy of Jesse Ventura."

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