Jesse Ventura fires back at SEAL's fight allegation

  • Article by: DAN BROWNING , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 29, 2012 - 9:16 PM

The former governor's lawyers argue in defamation suit that alleged bar fight "is a complete fabrication."

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Jesse Ventura

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Jesse "The Body" Ventura snapped back from the ropes on Wednesday and again denied allegations that he had been decked in a 2006 bar fight by Chris Kyle, a highly decorated ex-Navy SEAL.

Kyle alleged in his memoir, "American Sniper," and in media interviews that he punched the former governor of Minnesota for saying that his comrades "deserved to lose a few" in the Iraq war, which Ventura has publicly criticized.

Ventura sued Kyle for defamation, misappropriation of his likeness and unjust enrichment, and the suit is heating up as it wends its way through federal court in St. Paul.

Kyle's attorneys recently filed a motion seeking to compel Ventura to specify how the book defamed him, and they filed a motion on Tuesday seeking to dismiss the misappropriation and unjust enrichment claims.

Ventura's lawyers fired back Wednesday in a 30-page response to the motion to compel. "Governor Ventura sued for defamation because the alleged incident described in Kyle's book is a complete fabrication and is a vicious, deliberate and calculated assault on his character, honor and reputation that is intended to turn the SEAL and military community, and Americans in general, against him and to cause them to have contempt, scorn, disgust and hatred for him," wrote John Bisanz Jr. and David Bradley Olsen.

Ventura's attorneys have not yet responded to Kyle's latest motion to dismiss two of the three counts in the complaint, but they appear ready for a fight.

In their filing Wednesday, Bisanz and Olsen said Ventura neither expressed nor implied that he wanted harm to come to U.S. forces. Kyle's allegations -- that Ventura said SEALs were killing innocent people in Iraq, that Ventura said "he hates America," that Ventura lurched as if to strike Kyle and that Ventura was knocked down by Kyle -- are fabrications, they said.

Dan Browning • 612-673-4493

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