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‘American Sniper’ Co-Author Defends Ventura Fight Story

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New details are emerging at the Jesse Ventura defamation trial Thursday.

Deceased ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle told the bar fight story to the book’s co-author Jim DeFelice, who said he included it after checking out the details with Kyle’s friends and fellow SEALs.

He strongly disagreed that publicity about the incident generated a spike in book sales.

“It has nothing to do with some idiotic bar fight,” DeFelice said. “That would be asinine. Who would buy this book because of a bar fight?”

But lawyers for Jesse Ventura showed multiple drafts of the book in which the fight story details changed.

As he left court, DeFelice said the final book version is accurate.

“There are 110,000 words in this book, and every one of them’s true,” he said.

The bar fight story, which Ventura publicly denied, quickly made the rounds of the national media. Kyle repeated it on a highly-publicized appearance on the “The O’Reilly Factor” on FOX News.

Harper Collins ordered 100,000 new copies of the book printed the very next day. And later, internal company emails appeared to welcome the controversy, one of them calling it “HOT, hot, hot!”

Ventura’s defamation trial continues Friday and could wrap up early next week.

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