Settlement pending in Ventura’s case against ‘Sniper’ author

Published 8:32 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle are apparently working toward a settlement in Ventura’s yearslong defamation case.

A court docket entry on Thursday said that an upcoming conference and a deadline for written statements are cancelled “based on the pending settlement of this matter.” Attorneys for both sides had no comment when asked for details Thursday by The Associated Press.

Ventura sued Kyle in 2012 after Kyle, a retired Navy SEAL, published his autobiography in which he wrote that he punched a man for making derogatory remarks about SEALs, then-President George W. Bush and the Iraq war.

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The book referred to the man as “Scruff Face” and said the incident happened in a California bar in 2006. In subsequent interviews with national media, Kyle said “Scruff Face” was Ventura, who served with the SEALs during the Vietnam War.

Ventura denied the allegation, saying the incident was fabricated, and he sued Kyle for defamation. “American Sniper” became a bestseller and was turned into a movie, which didn’t mention the Ventura incident.

Kyle was killed in an unrelated incident in 2013, but Ventura continued his suit against the Kyle estate. A federal jury in Minnesota awarded Ventura $1.8 million in 2014, but that verdict was overturned last year on appeal.

Ventura previously said he’d seek a new trial.