Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura has revealed plans to go forward with a defamation lawsuit against a former Navy SEAL who was killed earlier this year after being shot by a fellow veteran. Ventura will ask the wife of the SEAL to take the seat of the defendant.
Chris Kyle, a veteran Navy SEAL sniper who held the title for record number of kills during his years of service, was one of two men who was shot and killed at a north Texas gun range in February. Prior to his death, Kyle had published a novel titled "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History."
In the book, the former Seal referenced a bar fight between himself and Ventura.
"He was going off on the war. Well, he fell down," Kyle said of his encounter with Ventura during a Fox interview before his death.
Ventura responded by filing a defamation lawsuit against Kyle. Now, despite the veteran's tragic death, the former governor has requested that the court allow the lawsuit to continue forward suggesting that Kyle's wife, Taya, take Kyle's place as the defendant. Ventura's representation had defended his actions, stating that the politician has the right to protect his reputation. They have also suggested that Kyle's estate will continue to profit off of the sales of the book.
"Although Kyle is deceased, his 'American Sniper' book continues to sell and it is soon to be made into a movie," Ventura's motion, filed at the end of May by Minneapolis attorney David Bradley Olsen, read according to The Star Tribune.
Kyle's lawyers have responded by suggesting that Ventura's attempts to pursue the lawsuit will paint him in a bad light.
"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."