File this under, “Oh, for Christ’s sake, why?”
In an epic demonstration of a complete lack of awareness of the proper point at which to move on, Jesse Ventura appears to be taking his defamation case against the estate of deceased Navy SEAL Chris Kyle to the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the Minnesota-based Star Tribune newspaper, which interviewed the SEAL-turned-wrestler-turned-politician-turned-television conspiracy theorist personality, Ventura refuses to accept defeat at the appeals court level, and continues to be determined to “clear his name” regarding what he claims is a fabricated story in Kyle’s autobiographical book, “American Sniper.”
Ventura appears absolutely convinced that the truth is on his side, and that he must clear his name to recover his reputation within the SEAL community. He has spent close to $1 million on legal fees throughout this litigious journey, and claims that his television opportunities have also been damaged as a result of the Kyle “bar fight” story.
What Ventura appears to fail to understand is that most of the damage done to his reputation within the SEAL community is due to the fact that he has dragged the Kyle estate through the legal morass. Whether the “bar fight” story is true or not—and this author has heard from at least one active-duty SEAL, who served with Kyle, that the bar fight in question did happen, while others doubt the story—it is exceedingly difficult to comprehend how Ventura gains from further legal action.
After all, the former Minnesota governor won his libel suit against Kyle’s estate, with a jury deciding that Ventura was in the right. They sided with him, thus he is able to simply point to that verdict as his vindication. The jury award was thrown out on appeal due to essentially legalistic arguments, which did not vacate the jury’s decision that Kyle did, in fact, defame Ventura.
Basically, Ventura has all the proof he needs, from a legal point of view, that he was right all along. Why not simply point to that verdict to make his case? Instead, he is taking the Kyle estate back to court, presumably to have his monetary award reinstated. Is it all about money? Surely not.
It is hard to know why Ventura would start this process all over again. According to the Star Tribune article, the last four years of legal battles have been “hell” for Ventura. Let’s be honest, that is a douchebag thing to say when sitting across the table from a woman who lost her husband to a deranged veteran, and who is being dragged through a legal swamp by one of his former SEAL brothers. Ventura also claims the process has been hell for his wife, Terry, and seems to link Terry’s seizures to the court case. There again, why continue to go through it, then?
Additionally, it is highly unlikely that Ventura’s case will even be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, which hears less than one percent of the cases brought before it for review, according to the Star Tribune article. So, again we must ask, why is Ventura doing this? It will not help his reputation in the SEALs, it will probably not get him his money, and it will go no further in proving Kyle defamed him (that was already decided by a jury). And, it will likely never even be heard by the nation’s highest court, thus the appeals court verdict will stand.
As I wrote before, Jesse Ventura should do the right thing and leave this madness alone, before people start formulating conspiracy theories about him. Because, I mean, really, it seems like only an extraterrestrial invasion of one’s brain space could convince him that this is a good idea.
(Photo courtesy of Leila Navidi)