Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has decided to substitute Chris Kyle’s wife, Taya, in a defamation suit he has filed against the slain Navy SEAL.
Mr. Ventura last year sued the decorated sailor, who authored “American Sniper,” claiming that the book’s description of a California bar fight defamed him, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Kyle, nicknamed America’s “most lethal sniper,” was killed at a Texas shooting range in February by a young veteran he was mentoring.
“Although Kyle is deceased, his ‘American Sniper’ book continues to sell and it is soon to be made into a movie,” read the claim filed last week by attorney David Bradley Olsen.
Mr. Ventura’s attorneys said the claims live on despite Kyle’s death, and “it would be unjust to permit the estate to continue to profit from Kyle’s wrongful conduct and to leave Governor Ventura without redress for ongoing damage to his reputation,” the Star Tribune reports.
Mrs. Kyle’s attorney filed a response Wednesday, calling the development a disappointment.
“Continuing this action will serve no useful purpose,” lawyer John Borger wrote, “and likely will promote public perception of Jesse Ventura as someone who has little or no regard for the feelings and welfare of surviving family members of deceased war heroes.”
A hearing is slated for June 17 in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reports.