A jury was set to hear opening statements Tuesday in Jesse Ventura's defamation case against the estate of a slain sniper who had claimed he punched the former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler inside a bar. After only about two hours of questioning from the judge, the four-woman, six-man jury was seated to hear the trial pitting Ventura against the widow of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle.
Ventura alleges that Kyle, regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, defamed him in his best-selling book. In it, Kyle describes a 2006 bar fight in which Kyle says he punched a man, later identified as Ventura, knocking him to the ground. Kyle also claimed Ventura made disparaging remarks about servicemen.
Ventura, a former Navy SEAL and wrestler, says the fight never happened. He served a four-year term as governor, departing in January 2003. Kyle and a friend were killed in February 2013 at a Texas gun range. Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, is now the defendant in Ventura's case. Ventura and Taya Kyle are both expected to testify.
- The Associated Press