Court Vacates $1.8M Jesse Ventura Award in 'American Sniper' Case

Associated Press
Chris Kyle

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said he was defamed by a claim in the Navy SEAL's book.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has thrown out a $1.8 million judgment awarded to former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who says he was defamed in the late author Chris Kyle's best-selling book American Sniper.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected the jury's 2014 award of $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment against Kyle's estate.

The court reversed the unjust-enrichment award, saying it fails as a matter of law. It also vacated the defamation award, but ordered a new trial for that portion of the case.

Kyle, a Navy SEAL and the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, claimed to have punched Ventura at a California bar in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs "deserve to lose a few" in Iraq.

Ventura, a former SEAL, testified he never made the comments and that the altercation never happened.

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