MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday in the Jesse Ventura defamation trial.
The former Governor says he was defamed by the book “American Sniper”, which claims he was “punched out” in a California bar for making offensive comments, an incident Ventura says never happened.
Ventura says this book has not only harmed his reputation, it cost him his career.
Minnesota governors make $120,000 a year. The last year Ventura was Governor in 2002, he made $719,000. And that went up dramatically: as high as $3.8 million in 2003, millions more in 2004 and 2005, down to $190,000 in 2012.
Ventura made the millions when he signed a three-year contract with MSNBC to do talk show, which was canceled after only five programs. He used some of the money to buy a house in Mexico where he lives part of the year.
Ventura says his income was affected due to appearances Kyle made on shows like the O’Reilly Factor on FOX.
Now, Ventura is seeking unspecified money damages from the widow of Chris Kyle — who wrote the book and was later murdered — and there’s a lot of money there. There are millions from the book and millions more from an upcoming Hollywood movie.
However, suing the widow may cause more damage to his reputation, according to SEALs who testified.
In order to win the trial, Ventura has to prove not only that the incident didn’t happen, but that Kyle knew it was false and maliciously printed it anyways.