Ex-Navy SEAL Jesse Ventura filed a defamation lawsuit in 2012 against "American Sniper" Chris Kyle over an alleged bar fight in Coronado seven years ago. Today Ventura's attorneys asked a federal judge to make Kyle's widow Taya Kyle the new defendant in the case.
Ventura claims Chris Kyle defamed him in his memoir American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
In a section of his book called “Punching Out Scruff Face,” Kyle describes a confrontation with a “celebrity” at a 2006 wake for a Navy SEAL. He claimed “Scruff Face” made disparaging remarks about the war, the United States and President George W. Bush, provoking Kyle to punch him in the face.
Kyle later identified "Scruff Face" as Ventura.
As Home Post previously reported, Kyle, 38, was shot to death at a Texas shooting range last February.
The Associated Press reports Ventura's attorney, David Bradley Olsen, told a federal judge today in Minneapolis that Taya Kyle should take her dead husband's place as defendant:
[B]ecause Ventura has a fundamental right to protect and repair his reputation. Olsen also argued Kyle’s estate will continue to profit from book sales and a recent movie deal.
However, in previous court documents, Taya Kyle's attorney wrote:
“Continuing this action will serve no useful purpose, and likely will promote public perception of Jesse Ventura as someone who has little or no regard for the feelings and welfare of surviving family members of deceased war heroes."