Jesse Ventura Tells Fox News Host He Wants Apology From Chris Kyle's Widow

A photo composite shows Chris Kyle, left, former Navy SEAL and author of the book “American Sniper,” and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, right.
AP photo

Former wrestling star and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura told CBS News this month that his lawsuit against the estate of slain Navy SEAL Chris Kyle has made it hard for him to find work.

"I can't get a job in the U.S.," he said. "No one will touch me."

Yet, in a tense exchange with Fox News host Jesse Watters, Ventura defended his decision to pursue the defamation suit even after Kyle was gunned down by another veteran in 2013. At that point, the suit ensnared Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, who is the executor of his estate and lives in North Texas.

Ventura, a Navy veteran, argues that Chris Kyle defamed him in Kyle's best-selling memoir, American Sniper. Kyle wrote that in 2006 he knocked down a man he dubbed "Scruff Face" at a California bar during the wake of a fallen SEAL after the man said the elite unit "deserve to lose a few."

The book by the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history was turned into an Oscar-nominated movie, which didn't depict the alleged incident with Ventura.

A jury sided with Ventura in 2014 and awarded him $1.8 million, but a federal appeals court tossed the judgment.

This month, the host of Fox News' Watters' World approached Ventura at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in New York and pointed his microphone at him.

Watters, who considers himself a comedian, began with what appeared to be a joke: "Does Trump need to get high?"

Ventura regarded the question seriously.

"I hope not, because I'll tell you this — my entire four years as governor, I didn't get high," he said.

Ventura  discussed the virtues of legalizing marijuana, but Watters quickly changed subjects.

"Were you high when you sued Chris Kyle's widow?" Watters asked.

Ventura's expression hardened. The rest of the exchange went like this:

VENTURA: Was I high? You know, that's a [expletive] question, and I expect it from someone from Fox. No.

WATTERS: It's a serious question.

VENTURA: No, no it ain't. No it ain't. 'Cause I never sued the widow. I sued him.

WATTERS: OK, well, she's suffering a lot of pain.

VENTURA: No, she isn't.

WATTERS: How do you know that?

VENTURA: Because insurance pays for it all. She hasn't paid 1 cent. How do I know it? It's my case.

The former politician pointed out that the appeals court had overturned the award. He insisted the case hadn't cost Kyle's family any money.

Watters asked Ventura if he should apologize to Taya Kyle.

"No, she should apologize to me for the lie that her husband told about me," Ventura replied. "Why would I apologize? I didn't do anything. You only apologize if you've done something wrong, pal."

Taya Kyle declined to comment through a spokesman.

Before the American Sniper judgment was struck down, Ventura's lawyer said publisher HarperCollins' insurance policy would cover all damages and costs of defending the suit.

But Taya Kyle's attorney told The Associated Press at the time that the insurance would cover only a chunk of the award and that the rest would have to be paid from Chris Kyle's estate.

Taya Kyle published her own memoir, American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal, in 2015. She speaks publicly about issues affecting veterans and joined Fox News as a contributor last year.

Ventura, who lost his health insurance through the Screen Actors Guild union, has signed on with RT, the TV network funded by the Russian government.

He told CBS News this month that his show on RT would let him share his viewpoint on matters across the globe.

"My United States union throws me in the dirt and who comes to the rescue? Russia," he said.

Before asking Ventura whether he should apologize to Taya Kyle, Watters was the one being pressed to show contrition after a controversial 2016 segment filmed in New York's Chinatown. Watters conducted street interviews with Asian-Americans that critics said devolved into stereotypes and racism.

In one instance, he approached a street vendor and said he liked his watches.

"Are they hot?" Watters asked, implying they were stolen.

The host offered not an apology but "regret."


©2017 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

It has been a deadly year for Green Berets, with every active-duty Special Forces Group losing a valued soldier in Afghanistan or Syria.

A total of 12 members of the Army special operations forces community have died in 2019, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. All but one of those soldiers were killed in combat.

In Afghanistan, Army special operators account for 10 of the 17 U.S. troops killed so far this year. Eight of the fallen were Green Berets. Of the other two soldiers, one was attached to the 10th Special Forces Group and the other was a Ranger.

Read More Show Less

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents from the Pentagon show that "far more taxpayer funds" were spent by the U.S. military on overnight stays at a Trump resort in Scotland than previously known, two Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday, as they demanded more evidence from the Defense Department as part of their investigation.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the heads of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee and one of it subcommittees said that while initial reports indicated that only one U.S. military crew had stayed at President Donald Trump's Turnberry resort southeast of Glasgow, the Pentagon had now turned over data indicating "more than three dozen separate stays" since Trump moved into the White House.

Read More Show Less
Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley from 1979's 'Alien' (20th Century Fox)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

QUANTICO, Va. -- Marines who spend much of their day lifting hefty ammunition or moving pallets full of gear could soon get a helping hand.

The Marine Corps is close to signing a deal to test an exoskeleton prototype that can help a single person move as much as several leathernecks combined.

Read More Show Less
NEC Corp.'s machine with propellers hovers at the company's facility in Abiko near Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. The Japanese electronics maker showed a "flying car," a large drone-like machine with four propellers that hovered steadily for about a minute. (Associated Press/Koji Sasahara

'Agility Prime' sounds like a revolutionary new video streaming service, or a parkour-themed workout regimen, or Transformers-inspired niche porno venture.

But no, it's the name of the Air Force's nascent effort to replace the V-22 Osprey with a militarized flying car — and it's set to take off sooner than you think.

Read More Show Less
In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

Task & Purpose is looking for a dynamic social media editor to join our team.

Our ideal candidate is an enthusiastic self-starter who can handle a variety of tasks without breaking a sweat. He or she will own our brand's social coverage while working full-time alongside our team of journalists and video producers, posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (feed, stories, and IGTV), YouTube, and elsewhere.

Read More Show Less