Published on May 31st, 2013 | by Chris Hagerman67
Jesse Ventura Sets Sights on Wife of Slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle
In my opinion, the actions of Jesse Ventura are classless and dishonorable. Chris Kyle is an American Hero and his wife Taya, an amazing woman. The Kyles have both sacrificed for many amazing selfless causes. Move on Ventura!
Ventura claims that damages from slain ex-SEAL Chris Kyle’s “American Sniper” continue.
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is setting his legal sights on the widow of a former Navy SEAL he had sued for defamation.
Lawyers for Ventura have asked a federal court to continue his lawsuit against Chris Kyle — who was killed in February by a young veteran he was mentoring — by substituting Kyle’s wife, Taya, as the defendant. Ventura last year sued Kyle, a decorated former SEAL and author of “American Sniper,” claiming that the book’s description of a California bar fight defamed him.
On Wednesday, Taya Kyle’s attorney filed a response to the motion, writing that Ventura’s move “comes as a disappointment, but no surprise.”
“Continuing this action will serve no useful purpose,” wrote Kyle’s attorney, John Borger of Minneapolis, “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.”
MYTH: Kyle was a perfect person and an utterly honest one.
How do we know that? While I agree that Kyle is a war hero and I respect that he tragically died while trying to help out a troubled fellow veteran, let’s not assume that because he is a war hero, he can do no wrong.
Specifically: Whatever happened to the repeated claim that the book’s proceeds would go/had gone to charity, benefiting the families of his fallen friends?
Consider what Kyle’s publisher wrote after his tragic passing: “He dedicated his life in recent years to supporting veterans and donated the proceeds of American Sniper to the families of his fallen friends” (italics mine). An article in the Blaze definitively proclaimed: “A perfect reflection of his character, Kyle gave all proceeds from his best-selling book American Sniper to the families of soldiers killed in combat” (italics mine). Or this line from a Human Events article: “For American Sniper, Kyle donated the profits from that book to charity.” Kyle himself perpetuated this idea, telling the same proceeds-went-to-charity tale to the Texas News Service and even adding that he regularly received tearful calls and letters of thanks.
And now for the kicker: It isn’t true. Out of the staggering $3 million that American Sniper collected in royalties for Kyle, only $52,000 actually went to the families of fallen servicemen. (Rather than 100 percent of the proceeds, as the public was led to believe, try 2 percent!) While Kyle’s widow claimed, in her testimony, that they never intended to profit from the book, and “wanted” to donate the money to other veterans, she said they were weren’t able to because of — get this! — “gift-tax laws that prevented them from donating more than $13,000 each to two families last year.”
When Ventura’s attorney asked why they did not simply create a nonprofit (standard practice) to be able to give away the money without gift-tax concerns, Kyle said she had not had the time to set up such a nonprofit.
Separately, she noted: “We are trying to find the right places and not just throw it away.”
It’s true that giving money away effectively is more challenging than many people realize. But it’s hard to believe neither of the Kyles was able to sort this problem out: Surely it is quite easy to locate the struggling families of fallen servicemen. And the challenges of setting up a nonprofit don’t excuse the Kyles’ and the publisher’s strongly implying, and allowing others to claim unambiguously, that they were giving all the money away when this was clearly not true.
Why is there no concern for those families of other veterans — many of whom, unlike Kyle’s supposedly destitute widow, probably are struggling financially? Do those families, who were supposed to receive help, not matter?
So what does this all demonstrate, and why should it matter?
For one, Americans are showing a disturbing level of either support or disregard for the legal system — based solely on what they think of the parties involved. That is a dangerous approach. It’s against the fundamentals of justice to decide how you feel about a case based on how much you like the defendant or plaintiff, rather than the facts.
More important, however, it demonstrates a worrisome level of blind hero worship. The idea that, because Kyle served his country bravely and honorably, he was therefore always honorable in all aspects of his life, and can do no wrong, ever, is preposterous. As Pocket Full of Liberty’s editor Skyler Mann wondered: “Not about Chris Kyle in particular but the hullaboo makes me wonder: if a veteran does something super sh**** is it OK because s/he’s a vet?”
A jury, with far more information than we the public have (including the chance to listen to witness testimony and watch Kyle’s deposition), essentially found that Kyle lied. The fact that many conservatives are furiously shaking their heads, refusing to accept this, and taking it even further by attacking Ventura for daring to clear his name is extremely disturbing. Ventura is the jerk for suing to restore his reputation — not Chris Kyle for lying and making an easy target sound like a demon, for the sake of financial gain and publicity.
Got it, that makes perfect sense. We supported George Zimmerman’s defamation lawsuit, but not Jesse Ventura’s. Apparently, it’s not the merits or facts of the case, but rather how likeable the parties are, that determines whom American public opinion supports. Listening to the outrage brigade on social media, big on demagoguery but short on facts, one can conclude that (a) widows can never be sued nor are capable of unjustly profiting and (b) war heroes are perfect in every regard of their lives, forever.
This is blind hero worship, at its most embarrassing.
MYTH: Ventura couldn’t have possibly incurred damage to his reputation because his reputation was already ruined.
This argument is too illogical to address, but let me take a crack at it: Your reputation can always get worse.Ventura may have been considered nutty and a crackpot by some (personally, I don’t appreciate his 9/11 theories and strongly disagree with them), but he was not a hated figure. After Kyle’s story got national attention, Ventura was not only despised by many Americans but even hated by his own fellow veterans:
A petition circulated in 2013 seeking to have Ventura removed from the Underwater Demolition Team-SEAL Association, citing the events described in Kyle’s book and Ventura’s pursuit of the lawsuit after Kyle’s death. Dozens of military personnel signed it.
MYTH: Ventura’s witnesses were probably just lying to protect him.
Apart from the logical flaw in inferring that only Ventura’s witnesses would lie for him and not Kyle’s, consider the testimony of Bill and Charlene DeWitt, two witnesses who were at the bar the night of the “fight”:
Bill DeWitt has known Ventura since the two underwent Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training together in 1969. . . . The DeWitts, Ventura and other BUD/S classmates . . . convened at McP’s bar the night before the ceremony — the same night Kyle and his colleagues were at the bar for the wake of slain SEAL Michael Monsoor. . . . ”I was eavesdropping on Jesse,” [Charlene DeWitt] said. She heard him criticize the war in Iraq but didn’t hear him badmouth fallen soldiers or argue with younger servicemen. She said she didn’t see him get into a fistfight or sport a black eye or bruised face in the following days. . . . Bill DeWitt also testified that he hadn’t seen or heard any of the events described in the book.
MYTH: Even if Kyle lied about Ventura, his book sales weren’t significantly increased by that story, so Kyle did not profit from the defamation.
Wrong! In fact, the book made national headlines largely — and probably only — because of the salacious story about Ventura. Don’t believe me? No worries — take Kyle’s publicist’s word for it. At the time, the publicist remarked that the story was making the book’s sales “go crazy.”
MYTH: Kyle is dead so he never had a chance to defend himself or present his side at trial!
Actually, while alive, Kyle had a chance to sit for a lengthy deposition, providing nearly five hours of video-deposition testimony that was shown to the jury.
MYTH: Taya Kyle and the kids are now broke because of Ventura! I hope someone is setting up a fund for them!
Ms. Kyle is a multimillionaire. With the $500,000 defamation portion of the award covered by libel insurance, only $1.3 million will come out of the Kyle estate (and that’s assuming the judge even upholds that portion of the award). In light of the reported $6 million in book profits, not to mention potential profits from future book royalties (once the movie releases in 2015, the book is sure to rocket in sales again), and Kyle’s no doubt robust life-insurance policies, to claim that this is cruel or a hardship on a destitute widow is ill informed and disingenuous.
Ventura noted on CBS This Morning Wednesday: “Taya Kyle had all of her attorney fees paid by insurance. I did not. I incurred two and a half years of lawyer fees that I have to pay to clear my name, and she had insurance paying everything for her. It was me against an insurance company.” Ventura added that he will use the winnings to pay off his attorneys’ fees.
MYTH: It’s just a case of he said vs. he said so we have no way of knowing who lied.
Actually no. There were multiple witnesses, called by both sides. Clearly, the jury found Ventura’s witnesses believable and not Kyle’s.
MYTH: The jury must have gotten it wrong.
Yes, juries sometimes get it wrong. (Though, statistics show, not often – if you want stupidity, check out judges’ findings.) But common sense would tell you that Ventura’s case must have been exceptionally strong and Kyle’s case extremely weak if the jury held in favor of Ventura. Defamation is notoriously hard to prove, and juries do not easily find against a young widow (who cried on the stand multiple times) or a fallen war hero, let alone both.
MYTH: He sued a widow! What a monster!
CNN’s Anderson Cooper got in on the outrage game, tweeting: “I cannot believe that Jesse Ventura successfully sued the widow of a fallen Navy SEAL. Has he no shame?”
Whoa, there. Ventura sued Kyle in 2012. Kyle died, tragically, about a year later. The lawsuit then shifted to Chris Kyle’s estate, for which his wife, Taya, is the executor. It is utterly normal for a lawsuit to shift onto the estate, especially when the estate has profited from the issue in dispute. Considering Taya herself has profited from the book (earnings are estimated at a whopping $6 million, thanks to royalties and rights), it stands to reason that the shift is appropriate.
Consider this: A decorated veteran publishes a book saying he fought with someone in a bar after hearing the man say he worshiped the devil and/or thinks child molesters are fine. During the book tour, the author is asked to identify the monster and names you. It makes headlines, helping propel the book’s sales. You file a defamation suit and, roughly a year later, the author/veteran unexpectedly dies. His multimillion dollar estate goes to his wife, an estate largely consisting of profits from the book that defamed you. Do you drop the suit?
Of course not.
Jesse Ventura (James Janos) has gone off the rails since his days as a Pro Wrestler. He has turned into a 1srt Class Asshole. He is making beau coup bucks from his books and radio shows etc. He needs to drop the suit and leave Taya Kyle alone. He will never be welcomed at a a UDT/SEAL function again. I know if I was cut off from the brotherhood it would kill me. Apparently it does not bother JV.
Just finished reading American Sniper and as it did not have an ending, went to the internet. Knew who Ventura was a long time ago, before this stunt. but slime can get dirtier. RIP HERO CHRIS KYLE. Wish I could have been half the man you were.
A better name for him is Jesse "The Bonehead" Ventura. What an ass-- suing the wife of a real American patriot over a note in Chris Kyle's book that he knocked this phony on his ass. He should be ashamed of himself, but he passed on that hurdle a long time ago.
I'm not 100% on Ventura at all, but I wouldn't be too quick to believe either side of this. http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2013/aug/07/citylights2-did-chris-kyle-deck-jesse-ventura/
Jesse Ventura should be ashamed of himself. He's a fraud. He's just another one of those far left wing nuts who has a problem with the United States. He claims to be independent or libertarian, I don't remember which but it doesn't matter. He's neither one because he's a fraud. He's low life scum.
Understand there is a world where we don't cry outside our boundries. You get your ass kicked for doing something stupid... you lift your chin and take it. You shut up, then go on. This failure did not adhere to code, and is an embarrassment.
Regardless. It was between Chris and the Loser. Leave the wife/widow alone. This guy suing the widow is now showing how he is the lowest form of crap. I applaud Castro over this dipshit.
He was in US Navy Underwater Demolition Team during 1970-1975 in Vietnam war which was the precursor to the Navy Seals. The name Navy Seal didn't come into play for that role until 1983. So he is a some what of a founding father so show the man a little more respect. And he is suing to clear his name not for the money.
Jesse Ventura is and always has been a fraud. Now he's sunk about as low as anyone could in bringing a lawsuit against an American hero and a deceased one at that. What a crumb.
He was "NEVER" "NEVER" a Navy SEAL. Google it and you'll see he was "NEVER" a SEAL!! That's from one REAL NAVY SEAL!! F&$K OFF Jessie you fricking creep.............
Ask Jesse if he still lives in America. He would not make a Pimple on a true Navy Seals ass.
USA RET SGM
And Ventura wasn't trained as a SEAL!He was an underwater demolition man that was incorporated into the Navy SEALS.This jerk is a phony turd.Look it up!!
Jesse has become a useful IDIOT for the liberals. He's trying to get money somehow as his lack of real brain power and ability to act have left him low on cash. He will loose this battle as well, as there is no way of proving he was not an IDIOT in whatever happened in California. Jesse, get out while your ahead though that may be tough, since your trying to sue the widow of a dead hero, and since you have a lot of class though it all appears to be low, the one thing you should do now, is shut your pie hole, stop your whining and leave this poor lady alone.
Who punches an old man anyway, then goes on TV and gloats about it. I'm not a huge fan of Ventura and perhaps he should have kept his mouth shut but to deck an old man is disgusting.
All those that were present need to file briefs, affidavits, or what have you, with the Kyle family lawyer. Fight fire with fire.
This behavior is unecoming and unmanly. And it can't end well for him in any way. He should have had the race to let it go. He could have done so without giving up his stance. He could have simply let the suit die with a statement that his concern was with Chris, and it died with him. And if he is wanting money from that book, he's in trouble, because Chris donated the proceeds to charity. This is both stupid and tacky.
Jesse is a complete douse bag! Any positive thoughts I had concerning him are GONE. Go the H**l jackA**!
This old Jarhead heard it from a Navy SEAL officer, who got it from someone who was there
Ventura ran his mouth off, made some really rude statements, and got cold cocked for it. I trust my source. :)
@GernBlansten Thank you for finally injecting some common sense into the subject. I used to think that Navy Seals were rational human beings but seeing how current and former Navy Seals have been treating Ventura for trying to clear his name almost makes me want to vomit.
@GernBlansten - When one lives their life in the 'public eye' perhaps they should give more thought to what they do & say. This wasn't & won't be the last incident concerning jessie ventura that makes him look or sound like the low life he is. It's too bad his financial situation is in such dire straits that he had to sue Kyle in the first place & than not to have dropped the suit after Kyle's death. This was nothing more than a 'CHEAP SHOT'.
@SEAL76 Tell me if you care to why are some lambasting Marcus Luttrell for his book. which was so much more than one really bad day ?
@dudewhat guess you have not been alive long enough to know there is always some fool to write a URl like the one you just pushed. When you open that door, he will kick your as
@Trust_no_1 The US Navy SEALs were commissioned on January 1st 1962, I was in BUD/S Class 57 and Jim Janos aka Jesse Ventura was in Class 58. He went to UDT 12 and I went to SEAL Team ONE. Jesse didn't want anything to do with the SEALs or our operations in Vietnam. He did go in country for a few days but was not in combat to the best of my knowledge. He now implies that he was a SEAL and that he was a combatant. His behavior in regard to Mrs. Kyle has alienated him from UDTs and SEALs past and present.
@Trust_no_1 well if you SUE like a PUNK because they said you are a PUNK . respect is no longer owed !
@Trust_no_1 You need to learn your history. SEAL teams were created by President John Kennedy in 1962 or so, not 1983. I saw Navy SEAL teams as a Marine in 1981, myself, and deployed with them on our ship, too.
Yes, he was UDT, and UDT and SEALs both went through same training.
However he has no name to clear. Multiple witnesses bear out Kyle's story as true. Jesse the Duchebag Venture needs to get beat within an inch of his lief over what he said.
And he has ZERO business suing Kyle's Widow. That's just more evidence of his Duchebaggery.
What respect he has earned from being a UDT, he has more than lost for his actions since.
@DionPrisby And another thing, there is not "Perhaps he should have.." about it.
Michael Monsoor had thrown himself on a Grenade to save the lives of his fellow Seals as well as a couple of Iraqi officers. He was the ONLY one in a position to escape the blast. Instead he took the full brunt of the blast at the cost of his own life to save the lives of others. For those actions he was Posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
They were at a wake for Monsoor with Monsoor's family and the families of other Seals when mister dumbass conspiracy kook opened his mouth about them deserving to lose a few.
Old man or not, he deserved to get far more than what he got.
@DionPrisby go ahead and take the side of a douchebag.
Old man or not. What he said and where and when he said it, He deserved an asskicking, What he got was a single punch to the face that laid his ass out. He could have been a woman for all I care.
You DO NOT in front of the families of a fallen soldier, tell them they "deserved to lose a few". He he been the President of the United States, he would have been laid out.
And Kyle DID NOT go on TV and gloat about it. He was asked about it in an interview and he admitted to it. That is not the same thing as gloating. But I would not expect someone of your obvious (lack of) intellect to grasp the difference.
@DionPrisby It's one thing to punch an old man, quite another when you punch an old man making fun of a fallen warrior at his funeral in front of his family. Mr. Kyle didn't gloat either. He admitted it and that was that.
@JimBancroftId let don shipley verify him
I guess it is ok for a Navy seal to lie about another Navy seal? You are ok with that?
What is wrong with you people? Kyle is proven in a court of law to have defamed a fellow Navy man!
Sounds like Blind Hero Worship on your part.
Quit being such a pansy, Kyle was a PROVEN LIAR!!!
And I don't think that Ventura would appreciate you calling him old. He's only 64 now. And was, when it happened, in his mid 50s. His behavior was unconscionable, and stupid.
This just makes it all the more vivid.
Actually, Don Shipley might have been the guy who told my source! :)
They have vetted a few for me, my friend has one up to date source copy of all BUDS graduates, so, I can make a direct call to him when I meet posers
For what it's worth, I was USMC, 1977-1981, MOS 7242, didnt do a thing, and got a chest full of medals for it :)
@GernBlansten @ChgoGirl Lady I do not know who the fork you are but look up the word defame. To make fun of is not to defame just because some jury says it is. SEALS joke with one another, beat each other with fists and then get drunk together after calling each other a bi itch. They do not lie; they swear an oath on their lives to tell the truth. And Ventura was not a Navy SEAL. Now come back with some more stupid hero worship like a big lib does and then feel good for a minute; then go back to feeling sorry for yourself.
Ventura defames himself. He claims that because of Kyle's statement, that Ventura has lost out financially for lack of job opportunities.
Ventura's lack of job opportunities is because he's a raving lunatic conspiracy moron.
(Oh NOES!!! Now Ventura's gonna sue me! Oh what shall I do!?!?!)
The event at the Bar DID happen. Ventura deserved getting his ticket punched.
If anything, Ventura was Defaming the SEALS when he got clocked.