Jesse Ventura Prevails at Trial: Awarded More Than $1.84M. Henson Efron represents Ventura in defamation case.

August 1, 2014

Jesse Ventura was awarded $500,000 for defamation and more than $1.34 million for “unjust enrichment” by a jury in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota Tuesday, having successfully established that Chris Kyle defamed him in his book American Sniper and in later promotional interviews.

In order to succeed, Ventura had to prove not only that Kyle’s story about him was false and tended to harm his reputation, but also that Kyle published the story knowing it was not true or having serious doubts about its truth.  While most defamation cases involve media defendants such as newspapers or television stations, Ventura’s case was unique in that Kyle’s book purported to give a first-hand account of an incident involving Ventura—an incident which the jury found never happened.  Ventura’s legal team was led by David Bradley Olsen and included Court J. Anderson, John N. Bisanz, Jr., Benjamin J. Hamborg and Emily Erickson.

The trial was covered by several national and international media outlets. Sampling of links are below (Pioneer Press online) (Video distributed by Gannett Company) (New York Times) (Washington Post) (Star Tribune)