Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ventura wins lawsuit, loses dignity

Chris Kyle, the man whom Jesse Ventura sued for defamation over Kyle depicting in his book American Sniper that he punched out Ventura after besmirching his fellow SEALs, was tragically killed in a firing range incident last year. Despite that, Ventura chose to press forward with his lawsuit against Kyle's widow. The millisecond he decided that, Ventura had already lost regardless of what a jury would eventually decide. I mean suing a guy's widow because you're so thin-skinned and ego maniacal? Dunno how anyone can come out a winner in a situation like that.

After the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict for several days, Kyle's legal team indicated they would acquiesce to an 8-2 decision. As it turned out, the jury did indeed side with Ventura by an 8-2 margin. 

The jury awarded a total of $1.845 million: $500,000 in defamation damages and $1.345 million for “unjust enrichment” — or to be specific, $1,345,477.25.

Of the myriad reactions to the verdict, one of the more prevailing sentiments was surprise over why Kyle's legal team would agree to a less than unanimous verdict. Given the veritable hell Kyle's widow Taya has endured over the past year between her husband's death and this lawsuit, it was a real possibility Ventura would drudge up another suit if there was a "hung jury" in this one.

What I still have a hard time wrapping my head around is how Ventura felt pressing on with this suit was going to help "restore his good name." One of the contentions he made was that potential income opportunities had "dried up" due to Kyle's allegations in the book. So how is it that suing Kyle's estate (which is run by his widow) is going to replenish Ventura's reputation? And how will winning this lawsuit make Ventura any more enticing to potential employers? Sure, Ventura may have proven right by the letter of the law. But will this in any way give him back whatever dignity he felt he had lost? The better question is, now that Ventura may be nearly $2 million richer, does he even care about his reputation anymore?



Mr. D said...

The better question is, now that Ventura may be nearly $2 million richer, does he even care about his reputation anymore?

The Contours (and J. Geils Band) had the response:

I don't care if you got yourself a wrap
All I want is your pretty green cash
Bought me a suit, bought me a car
Want me to look like a hollywood star
Money, (Money!) I want money (Money!)
Baby, ain't no "why", baby (Money!)
I need money!
First I look at the purse!

walter said...

Brad I haven't checked in a while. I thought it made sense since I think they thought they had proved their case and expected the jury to return a verdict of 10 or 11 to 2 or 1 in their favor.

Walter Hanson
Minneapolis, MN