Jesse Ventura Defamation Suit Defies an American Code of Honor

Jesse Ventura

Jesse Ventura was awarded $1.8 million by a Minnesota jury last Tuesday in a defamation lawsuit against the late American Sniper author Chris Kyle who was tragically gunned down in early 2013. The verdict has stirred up a lot of emotion over the past week, especially from those in military circles. The lawsuit pitted two American heroes against one another and by many accounts, defied an age-old American code of honor.

Both men shared the honor and distinction of membership in the U.S. Navy SEALs, the Special Forces unit of the Navy that  has officially protected the lives of U.S. citizens since 1962. Navy SEALs are touted as one of the top echelon special forces units in the world and represent a symbol of fortitude and true grit.

The SEAL code calls for action in the most dire and adverse of times, where one man stands above no other and his loyalty is to his country and to his team. SEALs seek no accolades or recognition, only to serve and protect.  Their word is their bond and failure is never an option.

That is where the defamation suit brought by Jesse Ventura against Chris Kyle gets lost in translation and this is where many believe an American code of honor has been defied and broken. The federal jury ruled that Kyle’s 2012 best-selling autobiography defamed Ventura in what is described as a bar fight in 2006. In the book, Kyle writes that he decked a man he calls “Scruff Face” after he said the Navy SEALs “deserve to lose a few.” It was not until later in promotional interviews that Kyle identified the man as Ventura.

Eventually, that book would go onto sell more than 1.5 million copies, and that is when Ventura claims he became a pariah in the community that he loved – his brotherhood of SEALs. FOX News was trashing Ventura over the comments and the story was going viral and reaching millions. The $1.8 million was awarded for damages and harm done to Ventura’s reputation and the humiliation and embarrassment that he endured as a direct result of Kyle’s statements.

The one problem: Chris Kyle was not around to defend himself. The man regarded as the deadliest military sniper in U.S. history was long gone, shot and killed at a gun range by a fellow Marine veteran whom he was supposedly helping battle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Instead, Chris Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle became the central defendant in the case. Not only was the deceased Kyle not able to defend his actions from a lawsuit that was pending before his death, but Ventura was pushing forward in the matter against a grieving widow and single mother. His hopes were that his good name would be restored to him in time for what he told CNN’s Piers Morgan was a potential 2016 run at the Presidency.

After Tuesday’s verdict, even Ventura himself does not seem to think that is possible. According to the Washington Post, “I can’t go to UDT-SEAL reunions anymore,” Ventura said Tuesday, adding that it is not safe and that he would have to wonder who might be out to get him next. “I’d have to spend my time looking over my shoulder.”

There clearly are no real winners in this case. Both men’s names have been smeared as a result of the lawsuit. Ventura did get his day in court and he won. It was not the $15 million he was seeking, but he proved his word was stronger than that of a dead man.

Chris Kyle comes out of this legal action as no saint either. It will forever be his word against Jesse Ventura’s in life and in death. There are now accusations that he is nothing more than a fraud with a good story. There is also a movie set to be released in 2015 that stars Bradley Cooper as Kyle and directed by Clint Eastwood. It is hard to tell if that will rectify his good image. The only real truth in this matter is that the defamation suit brought against him by Jesse Ventura defies and betrays an American code of honor that never dies – the code of a Navy SEAL.

Opinion by Justin Williams


Daily News
The Washington Post

31 Responses to "Jesse Ventura Defamation Suit Defies an American Code of Honor"

  1. Mike   August 18, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Chris Kyle broke the code when he lied and continued to lie, All Ventura wanted was for him(Chris Kyle) to admit he made it, The defense was given a chance to produce witnesses and the only ones they did got caught in lie after lie including they couldn’t even get the place the supposed punch happened right.

    Also before anyone cries about the window paying as Ventura has pointed out it will be the insurance company that pays

  2. sirJ   August 18, 2014 at 12:19 am

  3. Robert Samson   August 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    How convenient that people blindly accuse Ventura of being “dishonorable” or some garbage, while ignoring basic facts about this story:

    The fact remains that Kyle invented a story where he pretends Ventura said fallen American soldiers deserved to die, and Kyle continued the lies by saying he punched Ventura out. It is all a load of $hit.

    In reality, Ventura is a proud American military veteran who served in Viet Nam, who is and was always 100% behind every single American soldier. In fact, Ventura calls all the politicians who never served in the military “chickenhawks”. And now, it seems that this smear campaign against Ventura by Anderson Cooper on the Liberal side, and Sarah Palin on the Neo-Con side, is being waged by “chickenhawks”… So who is really being “dishonorable” here, Justin Williams?

    Do the proper research – It turns out Kyle’s wife made 6 Million USD$ off of the book, which is a best seller, while seriously damaging Ventura’s reputation. Therefore, Kyle and his estate are clearly profiting from ‘defamation’, which is illegal in the United States of America, last time I checked. Is that honorable?

    Good for Jesse Ventura to stand up against these Liberal and Neo-Con chickenhawks, and for the truth.

    And shame on anyone who invents facts, and who defends lies. Keep America honorable.

  4. ITTTY IT   August 10, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Either way —-WHAT difference does it MAKE?

    BEWARE the DEMORALIZATIONs and ‘DISS—-tractions’
    of TAVISTOCK mind control FAKE media.

    We’re facing OPEN globalist MAFIA USURPATION!

    There is NO MORE TIME!

  5. Jon   August 7, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Where are the witness? they were not alone in the Bar. No where in any of the Press are they mentioned. you can’t tell me that someone gets slugged in a bar and no one takes any action.

  6. Jimmy R   August 6, 2014 at 9:55 am

    So tired of these comments that attack Jesse Ventura while ignoring Chris Kyle’s LIES.

    –> Kyle violated the “code of honor” by fabricating lies to sell a g-damn BOOK. And we are expected to crap on Ventura in the end? Huh????

    The fact is, Kyle lied that Ventura said, “veterans who died in Iraq deserved to die”, and he lied that he socked JV in the face. Nonetheless, Kyle published these LIES in his book which became a best seller, so Ventura had no other option but to sue Kyle, to clear his name.

    –> BASICALLY, Chris Kyle invented a story just to sell the book, while harming the reputation of another military veteran. That is not at all “honorable” is it.

    • Jimmy R   August 6, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Then unfortunately, Kyle got killed by one of his own buddies, so Ventura had no choice but to go after the estate of Chris Kyle to clear his name. ANY PUBLIC FIGURE would have done the SAME THING. Turn the tables around, and Kyle would have sued Ventura if Ventura published BS calling him a traitor… Duh.

      These people who go after Ventura without trying to understand the REAL story do so because they see him as a threat against the status-quo. That is why both Liberals and Neo-Conservatives constantly go after him. Its so petty.

  7. dk   August 6, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Jesse Ventura never served with a SEAL team. He was in UDT. At that time there were two SEAL teams… 1 and 2. At that time SEALs were chosen from UDT after they finished BUDS. They then went on to more training related to the SEAL mission. UDTs had a different mission. At some point in the ’80s UDTs and SEALs were combined. He now gets to call himself a SEAL only because of that. He has in the past pushed the envelope when he called himself a SEAL, but he now admits that he really only served with UDT.

    • jl   August 6, 2014 at 8:58 am

      And somehow that diminishes his Service to our country, dk?

      • dk   August 6, 2014 at 10:28 am

        If he was trying to make himself out to be more than he was, I would have to say yes. It’s called “Stolen Valor”

  8. jl   August 6, 2014 at 4:46 am

    “but he proved his word was stronger than that of a dead man.”

    A dead man who already had a nearly-FIVE-hour recorded deposition provided by the Defense. FIVE HOURS, people!

    And in those five hours, there was nothing but INCONSISTENCIES with his “Story” like him not remembering whether Tables were flying or whether Jesse got a black eye or whether a fight really occurred.

    He’s a lying scumbag who got shot by a loony-tunes soldier suffering from PTSD, and frankly, I’m not afraid to say that considering how he has made money off of the now-destroyed reputation of Jesse, that it wasn’t some kind of KARMIC JUSTICE when that “tragedy” occured.

    Oh and the widow stands to make 6 million dollars plus Royalties via the book so all you bleeding-hearts whining about the 1.8 mill? Please sit your butts down and shut up.

  9. Crazyottojr   August 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Regardless if Kyle told a lie or not Jesse has always been lose with the truth. As a UDT (not SEAL) he never saw combat According to Naval records spent most of time in Manila. He was the Navy in a couple of years ahead of me and back then there was a clear distinction between SEALS and UDT. UDT’s went through the same “tough as hell” training. They just never saw action as they were responsible for clearing harbors not covert ops. It is a shame but the guy is not a real hero but Kyle is

    • jl   August 6, 2014 at 5:02 am

      A clear distinction between SEALS and UDT?

      You DO know that the UDT were the pre-cursors for the NAVY SEALS, right?

      In essence, Jesse WAS A NAVY SEAL, just not in name at the time since they were know as the FROGMEN.

      And please spare me your holier-than-thou(he’s not a hero) bulls–t.

      ANYONE who served is a Hero. Doesn’t matter where.

      Jesse, like Kyle, is a WAR VETERAN. He should be receiving the same RESPECT that you and every liberal here are giving Kyle just ’cause he served himself.

  10. RP Jacobs II   August 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    “Jesse Ventura defies and betrays an American Code of Honor that never dies- the code if a Navy SEAL.”

    Oh really?


    And what code did Chris Kyle abide by in defaming a Brother?

    As has been noted, there are no winners here, however Jesse Ventura, earned that Trident, wore it proudly and served his country with distinction, as did Chris Kyle, however Chris Kyle is the man, in my eyes, that broke “The Code,” because you do not turn on and sell out a Brother, ever!!

    I hope that Jesse finds peace on earth and may Chris Kyle find peace alongside his warrior Brothers-

    And thank you to every man that wears that Trident-

    May God Bless You and keep you safe from harm-

    Thank You for Your service & sacrifice!

  11. charles116   August 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Not around to defend himself”
    Is there SOMETHING WRONG with you?
    The bartender said he lied.

  12. charles116   August 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Code of Honor?
    What about the original lies you dolt.
    And the additional lies by Kyle’s buddies?
    OOOOOooooooooooo we are just SO selective
    with this ‘code of honor ‘ca ca.

  13. Grandma   August 5, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I’m from Minnesota and I’m ashamed to have this man breathed the same air that I did. He is such a loser and pussy. He needs to grow some. I don’t like him and all I think he wants is to pat himself on the shoulder but that is my opinion I would never vote for him and I’ll pick up phone books and start calling all the people asking.g them not yo vote for him.

  14. Della   August 5, 2014 at 1:26 am

    Kyle DID defend himself in his taped hours long deposition. His defense didn’t hold water which is why he (his estate) lost.

  15. Truth Seeker   August 4, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    What do y’all not get? Chris Kyle lied to sell books. This is still the United States of America JV has more than a right to defend himself in court. I feel for the widow and kids but wishing someone would “take him out” yeah and Ventura the truth seeker is the bad guy? But it wouldn’t surprise me if you were some paid government internet bot anyway. Good day!

  16. Matt   August 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Jessie Ventura is a piece of filthy trash… and get your facts straight… He WAS NOT a Seal… He was an UDT diver. The “Teams” did not exist yet when he served in the Navy. I hope.. no PRAY someone takes that d-bag out!

    • jl   August 6, 2014 at 4:57 am

      He WAS a Navy SEAL. Just ’cause the name didn’t exist, doesn’t mean he wasn’t in it. He was part of the FROGMEN(which, last I checked, is part of the NAVY SEAL).

      And I hope….no PRAY that KARMA doesn’t find YOU like it did Mr. Kyle with that threat of yours.

      Good lord….

  17. Charles Zeitz   August 4, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Some rich MF should come up with the money before a regular citizen who is grateful to all servicemen for allowing him to get rich empties a 9mm into Jesse’s torso and head.

    • jl   August 6, 2014 at 4:51 am

      And somebody should report your IP address and get the authorities(if they haven’t already) to track you down. You sound dangerous….

  18. shirl   August 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Ventura ‘s reputation has taken a dive. I do not think a settlement is worth the years of snubbery he has coming. Public figures have a way to reinvent their malfunctions..etc. but I do not know how Jesse can come off looking good in this heart and good wishes go to the widow and kids

    • jl   August 6, 2014 at 4:53 am

      My thoughts and prayers go to Jesse for being villified UNJUSTLY by a bunch of sanctimonious idiots who don’t WANT the truth because, as Jack once said, they can’t handle the truth.

      And the Truth being that Kyle lied, Jesse Sued, he won, and that’s the end of that.

      But the “haters” out there don’t want it to end so they continue round and round and round they go…..

  19. Politicalunrest   August 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Are all the people on this website freakin crazy 9/11 truthers? i mean holy cow! the artical is extremely well written, and is well balanced, but the comments are freaking nuts! Jesse ventrua is a nutjob that never had a chance to win the 2016 presidential election… ever… primarily because of his nutso rants about 9/11 and the towers falling being an inside job created by the use of thermite hiden inside the tower posts. the guy is crazy and i hope someone gets him help soon. Also he is a freaking dirt bag! the guy went through with a law suit against a widow… the Nobel thing if he truly just wanted to clear his name, would be to withdraw the law suit after his opponents death, and send condolences and support to the family despite their difference. instead he continued with it.

  20. TiM   August 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Why in hell would you think Jesse Ventura would say that we deserve to lose a few? He himself was in the military along with his parents & i believe he said his brother was too. Has everyone gone nuts?

  21. Rebecca Howell   August 4, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    The 1.8 million dollar lawsuit will come from a liability insurance company- not the widow. This is something that the mainstream media fails to point out. Kyle was a scumbag who came home and was so full of himself that he decides to brag about his # of kills- he says 265 and the military begs to differ with 165. Then Kyle says he shot and killed two men trying to steal his truck- never happened. He says he sat on top of the Astrodome during Katrina and shot 32 “armed bad guys”- but no one supports this fiction. On top of all that- he lies about punching out Ventura. American Sniper was a best seller AND is being made into a movie. So the lie would have perpetuated about Ventura on the big screen. So this lie didn’t die with Kyle. Where is your pity for Ventura? He fought and served his country too.

  22. Adam Syed   August 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    What this article fails to point out is that not only did the suit begin when Kyle was alive, but the jury saw and heard a five hour video testimony from Kyle. Jesse had every right to clear his name, though clearly this was a case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” If he had dropped it, the story would have been allowed to stand, and pundits would hammer Jesse on it and milk it for all its worth, if Jesse were to ever run for public office again. Millions would be spent on anti-Ventura campaign ads in which Jesse would be accused of hating the military. Et cetera. So obviously Jesse needed to clear his name. It’s pretty obvious that the story was fabricated by Kyle. Ventura would not have sued otherwise, and obviously he knew he had a good case, and the jury agreed. The question now is if Kyle merely did this to be sensational and increase book sales, or if this was part of a larger psy-op against Ventura, It’s well known that he’s popular, that he’s a 9/11 truther and is considering a 2016 run for president, so the Establishment needs to do whatever it needs to do to take him down.

  23. Rick Romero   August 4, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    It’s an ugly situation all around. With that being said, Jesse had every right the clear his name, and from what I’ve read, he had offered to settle outside of court. All Chris had to do was recant what he said; the fight as well as the statement supposedly made about losing a few Seals. Sadly Chris lost his life and his wife was left with this ugly mess of a lawsuit.

    As crazy as Jesse is, he deserved the benefit of the doubt. What if the whole incident never happened? His reputation was ruined. Not only with the general public, but also within the Seal community.

    At the end of the day, public’s perception is that Jesse sued a widow. What’s being overlooked is that this lawsuit was brought on while Chris was alive and the publishing company is going to pay out that money; not Chris’s wife.

    It would be nice if Jesse donated that money to a charity, but I doubt that will happen.

  24. Paul Redman   August 4, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I never thought Ventura to be a scumbag, but apparently, he is.

    Winning a $1.8 million defamation lawsuit against the widow and estate of the late SEAL sniper Chris Kyle- whom may or may not have (rightfully) decked Ventura in the face at a bar in 2006 for making disparaging comments about the military and then included it in a book- Ventura should have been the bigger man and just walked away.

    In all of his fame and former glory, Ventura should have been above it all.

    Say what you will about being now unable to visit UDT/ SEALS parties without getting hurt…don’t make antagonistic comments to veterans about what they do and certainly don’t sue a widow over something that her husband may or may not have done.

    But, hey. As long as you get paid…


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