A judge allowed former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura’s defamation lawsuit against the widow of slain “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle to go to trial.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle denied a motion by Chris Kyle’s widow to dismiss the suit. The judge is not related to Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who was killed last year at a Texas gun range.
Ventura alleges Chris Kyle, considered to be the deadliest sniper in American history, defamed him in his best-selling book. In it, Kyle claimed he punched someone named “Scruff Face,” whom he later identified as Ventura, in a 2006 bar fight. Ventura says the fight never happened.
The judge wrote Ventura has offered enough evidence that a jury could conclude Chris Kyle’s statements were “materially false.”
Ventura also has presented enough evidence “to create a genuine issue of fact as to whether Kyle knowingly (or recklessly) published false statements about him,” the judge wrote, saying Ventura’s defamation claim will be left to a jury to resolve.