MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Despite Tuesday’s verdict, the widow and family of Chris Kyle have to decide if they want to continue the defamation case won by Jesse Ventura against the woman’s late husband.
Attorney John Borger, who represented Kyle’s widow during the trial, said accepting the non-unanimous decision was a strategic call that was appropriate at the time. The next move is to consider a possible appeal.
“In the days and weeks to come, we will be evaluating all of our legal options,” he told reporters following the verdict that awarded Ventura $1.8 million against Kyle’s estate.
As for Taya Kyle, her father said she has to get over her initial reaction following the verdict.
“Well, she’s as dumbfounded as we are,” said Kent Studebaker, appearing with WCCO Radio’s John Williams on Tuesday. “She’s trying to cope with it and figure out what she’s going to do. She’s in shock.”
Studebaker said there are several reasons his family isn’t happy with the verdict.
“Not only the money, but it makes her husband look bad,” he said. “Her husband was a hero, he was a very honest person.”
Borger said some things won’t change with Taya Kyle.
“She intends to continue Chris Kyle’s legacy of commitment to country, family and to God,” said Borger.
Jesse Ventura Appears On CBS This Morning
In an interview Wednesday, Ventura said people are coming up to him on the street and shaking his hand, proving that public opinion is on his side.
“The truth gets you hammered in the court of public opinion?” said Ventura. “Well, if the truth does that I’ll happily accept it, because I believe in the truth and I still do today.”
Ventura says he plans to visit Harper-Collins, which published the book in which Kyle detailed getting into a bar fight with a former Navy SEAL that he called “scruff-face.”
“They published the book and did no due diligence to find out if the story was true,” he said.
While promoting the book, Kyle said the man he hit was Ventura, a claim Ventura says didn’t happen. Ventura says he’ll use the award money to pay his attorneys, noting that the insurance company for Kyle’s widow paid for her attorneys during the case.
“Jesse Ventura did not render how and why the money would be paid,” said Ventura. “That came from a jury, not from me. So if you’re going to question the money, question the jury.”