Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura just struck gold in court on Tuesday. He was awarded $1.8 million in damages in a lawsuit against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.
The lawsuit claimed that the late author fabricated a story about punching Ventura at a bar in California back in 2006 (via MSN.com). The jury ultimately ended up finding in favor of Ventura.
After finding in favor of Ventura, the jury was also tasked with awarding damages for any harm to his reputation, humiliation and embarrassment. Jurors had to find that Ventura suffered an economic loss as a direct result of Kyle’s statements, or that Kyle used Ventura to profit unjustly.
Just to make sure you’re clear about the incident in question. Kyle claimed in the book “American Sniper” that he punched Ventura during a bar fight. The former wrestler wasn’t suing for damages or hospital bills based on the incident. Instead, he took Kyle’s estate to court under the guise that the allegedly fictitious incident did harm to his reputation and caused him embarrassment.
The jury agreed and ordered Kyle’s estate to pay Ventura $1.8 million in damages.
In his closing statement, Ventura’s attorney David Bradley Olsen indicated that the former Minnesota governor and pro wrestler should receive $5 to $15 million. This despite the fact that the book made just $5 to $6 million in profits.
I am not sure what’s more deplorable. Ventura taking Kyle’s estate to court or the jury ruling in favor of the former wrestler. Guys and gals, you can’t make this stuff up.