Ventura friends say he wasn’t punched as ex-Navy SEAL claimed in book

  • Article by: RANDY FURST , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 8, 2014 - 8:43 PM
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Ventura at the San Diego bar where a 2006 incident is the focus of a federal lawsuit.

Attorneys for Jesse Ventura on Wednesday filed sworn statements by two former Navy men who support the former Minnesota governor’s contention that he was not punched in the face and did not make disparaging remarks about the Navy SEALs as alleged in the bestselling book “American Sniper.”

Ventura filed suit against the book’s late author, Chris Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who wrote that he hit and knocked down Ventura in 2006 in a California bar during a wake for another SEAL after Ventura allegedly criticized U.S. foreign policy and said the SEAL probably deserved to die.

Ventura, a former member of an Underwater Demolition team attached to the SEALs, says the fight and those remarks never occurred.

His attorneys filed lengthy documents in federal court on Wednesday asking U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle to reject a motion by Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, to dismiss his lawsuit. Ventura said Chris Kyle’s book has severely damaged his reputation, especially among SEALs, and he no longer gets business offers.

Chris Kyle was killed in an unrelated incident after Ventura filed the suit.

One witness, Wayne Robertson, said he was a friend of Ventura’s and they were attending a class reunion of a Navy Underwater Demolition Team.

Robertson said he was not at the bar on the night of the disputed incident but saw Ventura the next day and there was no bruising on Ventura’s face or body that would suggest he had been struck.

Robert Leonard, a second witness from the reunion and also a friend of Ventura’s, said he was at the bar and never saw him get into an argument or altercation.

“Nor did I hear him say anything offensive or upsetting to anyone.” Leonard also said he saw no bruising on Ventura on the following day.

 

Randy Furst • 612-673-4224

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