Jesse Ventura laments declining popularity, difficulty finding work

Categories: Jesse Ventura
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Jesse said Kyle's book is the worst thing that's ever happened to him. (But what about that whole "hunting man" thing?)
Iraq war vet and best-selling author Christopher Kyle was gunned down by a fellow veteran in a tragic incident on a shooting range last February. But that didn't stop Jesse Ventura from proceeding with a defamation lawsuit he'd filed against Kyle and his estate.

In his book, Kyle described an incident that took placed at a California bar in 2006. He writes that he punched out a "celebrity" he calls "scruff face" because he was loudly and rudely denigrating the Navy SEALs, President George W. Bush, and U.S. foreign policy. ("Scruff face" bears an uncanny resemblance to Ventura in a number of respects.) Kyle writes that when he took issue, "Scruff face" allegedly told him, "You deserve to lose a few." Things got physical from there and Scruff ultimately "went down," Kyle writes.

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Ventura says "Scruff face" was clearly a reference to him and maintains the entire incident was a product of Kyle's imagination. And in a newly released deposition, Ventura says one of the main things that motivated him to sue is that Kyle's book made him less popular with the media and with his fellow veterans.

Ventura sat for the deposition last November, a few months before Kyle's death.

"Every day of my life, I walk around looking over my shoulder now, wondering who believes that and who doesn't," Ventura said, under oath. "It's constant. Can I name anything? No. It -- but it's a constant. It goes on all the time ... where I think to myself, 'Does this person -- did this person read this book, did this person hear this fictional tale, does this person believe I'm a traitor to the United States of America and to the military because of what was written in this book?"

Regarding interview and book offers, Ventura said he "never had to really go out seeking anything until very recently... Usually, it came to me. But within the last year, they ain't been coming."

Ventura's testimony also shed light on a number of interesting biographical questions. Here, via a Pioneer Press report, are some snippets:
On whether he'd actually read Kyle's book: "I don't like to read fiction."

On what actually happened at that California bar: "Nothing happened."

On how his life has changed since Kyle's book was released: "It's affected me emotionally; it's affected me how -- how I feel now how I'll be perceived by the rest of the military, how I could be perceived by them, that I'm some sort of traitor to the Teams... There's nothing worse you could do to one of us than what he did to me. Nothing.

"It's not fun at all. It's the worst thing that's ever happened to me."

On one passage that particularly bothered him: "To be -- to be -- to have it said that I wished death upon the United States military from which I come from, from which my mother and father and everyone in my family is a veteran -- not many people can say their mom and dad are both World War II veterans. I can. Everyone in my immediate family has served their country in the military.

"And for him to say that I wished death upon any facet of our military is unconscionable and it's the worst thing that's been done to me in my 35-year professional career, which includes being a villain in professional wrestling where it was my job to make people angry with me,"

On whether he was involved in any classified missions that could've caused an international incident during Vietnam: "Once." [The next three lines of testimony are covered with a large REDACTED stamp -- damn!]

On the year he spent as a guest lecturer at Harvard: "I had the largest classes in Harvard history... I was kind of like Rodney in 'Back to School,'"

On whether, at 62, he'd considering returning to the wrestling ring or the announcing booth for Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment: "You don't know what you're going to get with Vince... I mean, there's guys wrestling for him that are older than me."
Want more Jesse in your life? Click to page two to read the court filing containing all of his testimony:

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22 comments
Fluffy Singler
Fluffy Singler

That's the thing about Jesse.  He will be a total blowhard and then say something self-deprecating like "I'm kind of like Rodney in Back to School!"  When he was, unfortunately, our governor for a term, some of his policies led to Minnesota's economic decline directly.  He is best when you treat him like a wrestler -- take everything he says with a grain of salt and appreciate the humor in what he says.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

If I was Jesse I'd be pretty pissed too if this guy just completely made up a story to sell books.  All you slamming Jesse  for suing a dead veteran better remember that dead veteran still could be a dead liar.  Kyle's story doesn't make much sense so I tend to believe Jesse.  Who wouldn't sue a dead guy who made up a story about them?   I wouldn't care if he was a veteran or not.  I hate to break it to people but even veterans can be liars.  They are veterans, not saints.  Respect their service but don't pretend one wouldn't lie to make money.  Seems like most people would do that. 


Still if I was the judge I would tell Jesse his declining popularity might have more to with his horrible and offensive conspiracy theory show and his increasingly one note appearances in interviews.  Talking about running for President with Howard Stern as your running mate doesn't make you interesting it  makes you an asshole.  

Noel Barrick
Noel Barrick

Give the guy a break. I'd be pissed as well if I had someone write some bs about me in a bestseller. "And for him to say that I wished death upon any facet of our military is unconscionable and it's the worst thing that's been done to me in my 35-year professional career, which includes being a villain in professional wrestling where it was my job to make people angry with me,"

Del Bauer
Del Bauer

So he's still pursuing a lawsuit against a veteran that died. That will help his popularity.

Tim Burkhardt
Tim Burkhardt

Folks are always picking on Roosevelt grads... easy "targets"

Cari Golden
Cari Golden

A haircut would help him find work. Nobody wants to hire someone who looks unkempt

Hans Dykema
Hans Dykema

Being an asshole his whole life has finally caught up to him.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann  Did anybody read, or read excerpts from, Chris Kyle's book?  I know we're now supposed to worship veterans like saints or something, but the excerpts of Kyle's book I read were some of the most chilling, sociopathic and sadistic pornography I've ever read.  Frankly, after reading that I can't think of anything that Kyle guy would not have done as a matter of principle.  The man was a terrifying creation of our society.  I'm sorry he was murdered, because I don't think anybody should be murdered.  But that Kyle guy...what he wrote, or at least signed his name to, was some sick, sick stuff.

Jesse's an asshole.  But that doesn't make Chris Kyle less of a monster.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@swmnguy Generation Kill is my favorite Iraq War book.  If you haven't read it I would recommend it.  The HBO miniseries is pretty good too. 

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@swmnguy Didn't read it but I read an article on Salon with quotes from the book.  The article made a lot of the same points you are making.    Chris Kyle is a complex figure.  There is a fine line between heroic solider and cold blooded killer.  Lots of the time it comes down to if your side wins.  Chris Kyle should be respected for his service.  But his deadly skills and attitude about killing are why people should remember that war is hell and don't take it lightly.   I hope his death helps lead to more action on helping soldiers suffering from PTSD.  It's sad and tragic the war followed him home to Texas.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann  I haven't read that one but I'll take you up on the recommendation.  I've read great reviews of it.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann Maybe I read that same Salon article.  I don't recall.  I've known a number of men who have served. One of my wife's grand-dads was a medic at the Battle of Bulge.  Chris Kyle never saw anything like that.  I don't know exactly what that did to my wife's grand-dad because I don't believe he ever told anyone anything about it.  At his funeral somebody read the description from his medal citation.  Afterward his kids found some stories he had written.  Human beings weren't made to go through that.  Interestingly, the men I've known who went through the worst are the ones who were the least proud, if that's the word, of what they had done and gone through.  They certainly weren't crowing about it.  That's why I called Kyle a "monster."  I believe his stories were true, and that he didn't find them appalling himself is...quite disturbing.

But yes, if we get serious about PTSD, and start preventing it by not destroying our men by sending them to kill, that would be a blessing.

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