Ventura Defamation Lawsuit: Why was this a controversial case?
Minneapolis litigator David Olsen of Henson & Efron discusses why the Jesse Ventura defamation lawsuit was considered controversial in the media.
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It was controversial for a number of reasons. Number one, Chris Kyle is believed to be or seen to be a national hero. He’s appeared with politicians all over the country. He’s appeared on magazine covers. He’s appeared on television. He’s been interviewed. And they talk about his service to the country and all of his confirmed kills in Iraq and deemed the most lethal sniper ever. So you have that image to deal with. And you also have Jesse Ventura who is also a famous celebrity, a former governor. So you’ve got two famous people to start with, and then you throw in the facts of Chris Kyle’s murder during the middle of the lawsuit, being represented by the widow at the counsel table for the defense. And the public, for whatever reason, just ate up this story. We have the sympathy factor, the hero factor, and Governor Ventura’s own reputation, which was attacked at every turn by the defense.
So there was a lot of elements in there that the public could identify with. And it almost became like a soap opera in the newspapers for a time. They reported on virtually everything for weeks.