Federal court rules in favor of Jesse Ventura in defamation case

By KBJR News 1

July 29, 2014 Updated Jul 29, 2014 at 5:38 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A Federal Court has ruled in favor of Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura in his defamation lawsuit.

After six days of deliberation, the federal jury decided that a 2012 best-selling book "American Sniper" defamed Ventura in its description of a bar fight in California in 2006.

The author, Chris Kyle wrote that he decked a man whom he later identified as Ventura after the man allegedly said the Navy SEAL's "deserve to lose a few."

Ventura claimed his reputation was damaged and his career ruined by the memoir, which also claimed he made offensive comments about Navy SEALs...even wishing death.

Speaking on his behalf, Ventura's attorney said the former Governor said despite the verdict there is no winner in the case.

"I spoke to the Governor by telephone and he wanted me to express the sentiment that there are no real winners in this trial." said David Olsen, Ventura's attorney, "He's certainly grateful to the jury, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired. That's why he says there are no winners here."

Ventura was awarded $1.3M for unjust enrichment, and $500,000 in damages for defamation.

Neither Ventura nor the author's widow were in the courtroom for the verdict.

Chris Kyle was killed at a Texas gun range last year, his widow is executor of his estate with control over proceeds from book royalties and movie rights.

She claimed all details in the memoir penned by her husband were true.