Jesse "The Body" Ventura, the former Governor of Minnesota and a WWE Hall of Famer, is making the news again due to a lengthy defamation trial that will see the jury enter its fifth day of deliberations tomorrow.
In January 2012, Ventura immediately filed a lawsuit against United States Navy SEAL Chris Kyle for claiming in media interviews that he had punched the retired wrestler in the face at a bar in Coronada, California, in 2006 during a wake for Mike Monsoor who had been killed on duty during the Iraqi War. According to Kyle, he assaulted Ventura for "bad-mouthing the war, bad-mouthing (former President George W.) Bush, bad-mouthing America", calling them murderers and saying that they "deserved to lose a few guys".
It should be noted that the incident was written about in great detail in Kyle's bestselling autobiography American Sniper, but in the book he just referred to a celebrity that most people thought had been a SEAL, who he dubbed Scruff Face.
Of course, Ventura has always strenuously denied the allegations, insisting that the event never occurred and were lies designed to destroy his credibility. His lawsuit claimed that the false statements undermined future opportunities for him as a political candidate, public speaker and media personality, and led to his income taking a very significant hit.
In 2013, Kyle was murdered at a shooting range by a former soldier that he had befriended who was recovering from post traumatic stress disorder. Nevertheless, Ventura didn't drop his lawsuit, continuing the litigation against Kyle's widow Tara, which naturally led to criticism within the Navy SEAL community.
To win the case, Ventura would have to convince the jurors that not only was the story false, but that it also caused him serious harm and that there was malicious intent involved.
Although not completely consistent, there were several witnesses who corroborated different aspects of Kyle's story, which was thought would make it difficult for Ventura to win the case.
However, the fact that the jury were unable to come to a quick verdict suggests that they are deadlocked, either because they disagree over whether Ventura was defamed or the level of damages he deserves if they do agree he had been defamed.
When the verdict comes in, we'll let you know Cagesiders.