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Jesse Ventura Won Suit, But Image and Legal Battles Not Over

Questions remain about whether the widow of a slain sniper will have to pay some of the $1.8 million for Ventura's defamation verdict.

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won another victory Wednesday when “American Sniper” publisher Harper Collins agreed to remove a passage the former SEAL claimed defamed him, but the ex-pro wrestler still faces battles over his reputation and the money he’s owed.

A jury Tuesday awarded Ventura $1.8 million in damages for a story in slain sniper Chris Kyle’s autobiography, in which Kyle claimed he decked Ventura at a California bar in 2006 after Ventura made offensive comments about SEALs, including that the SEALs "deserve to lose a few" in Iraq. Ventura denied it, and continued his suit even after Kyle was killed at a Texas gun range last year.

Ventura said he doesn’t expect to see much of that money, and his lawyers insist it wouldn’t come from Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle. "This money does not come out of a widow's pocket; it comes from an insurance company," Ventura lawyer David Bradley Olsen said. But Kyle attorney John Borger said the insurance would only cover the $500,000 for defamation, not the $1.3 million awarded for unjust enrichment. "All of that comes directly from money that Taya and Chris received from royalties or whatever assets the estate may have," he said.



— The Associated Press