Jesse Ventura can sub Chris Kyle’s widow as lawsuit defendant, judge says

Jesse Ventura — the former World Wrestling Federation wrestler-turned-governor of Minnesota — may pursue a lawsuit against former Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, now deceased, subbing in his widow as the defendant instead.

Mr. Ventura, who also was a SEAL, sued Kyle, known as America’s deadliest service member for his 160 confirmed kills, over an unflattering comment Kyle wrote in his 2012 book, The Associated Press reported. Specifically, Kyle wrote that the two fought in 2006 in a California bar after Mr. Ventura bad-mouthed then-President George W. Bush and the Iraq war — but Mr. Kyle never named the former wrestler. He only referred to him as “Scruff Face,” AP reported. And Mr. Kyle later told a television audience that “Scruff Face” was indeed Mr. Ventura.

In February, Mr. Kyle was killed by a fellow veteran at a Texas gun range.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan said Mr. Ventura may proceed with his suit, using Mr. Kyle’s wife, Taya Kyle, as a defendant, AP reported.

The judge wrote: If “a party dies and the claim is not extinguished, the court may order substitution of the proper party,” AP reported.

An attorney for Mr. Ventura said that Mrs. Kyle should be named the defendant because her estate will benefit from sales of her husband’s book.

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