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.

Soldiers from the 1-118th Field Artillery Regiment of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team fire an M777 Howitzer during a fire mission in Southern Afghanistan, June 10th, 2019. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jordan Trent)

Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)

Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.

Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.

Read More
Audie Murphy (U.S. Army photo)

Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018

On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.

Read More
A Purple Heart (DoD photo)

Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Read More
Ships from Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 transit the Pacific Ocean Jan. 22, 2020. DESRON 23, part of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Erick A. Parsons)

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

The Navy and Marine Corps need to be a bit more short-sighted when assessing how many ships they need, the acting Navy secretary said this week.

The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.

"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.

The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.

Read More
Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Oscar Temores and his family. (GoFundMe)

When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.

Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.

"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."

That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.

Read More