American Sniper Chris Kyle was proved a liar by Jesse Ventura


and HarperCollins may owe the former governor millions

at the movies….

Chris Kyle, left, wrote that he punched out former Minnesota governor and Navy SEAL Jesse Ventura — but then Ventura successfully argued in a defamation suit that the inspiration for American Sniper made the whole episode up. Kyle’s estate paid millions to Ventura, and now HarperCollins may owe the former pro wrestler, too.


Mark Joseph Stern, Slate

January 21st, 2015

Chris Kyle, author of the runaway bestseller American Sniper, was a military hero who killed 160 people during his four tours of duty in Iraq and is now the subject of an Oscar-nominated blockbuster. He was also a fabulist. Before his tragic murder in 2013, Kyle told a number of extremely dubious stories. In one tale, Kyle claimed he killed two carjackers at a gas station southwest of Dallas, and that his driver’s license directed local police officers who questioned him to contact the Department of Defense. Kyle also claimed he traveled to post-Katrina New Orleans with a sniper friend, set up his gun atop the Superdome, and picked off dozens of armed looters.

The 160 kills are confirmed by the Pentagon. But there are absolutely no records of, or witnesses to, the latter stories. They are, perhaps intentionally, unverifiable. But it wasn’t these fantastical tales of vigilante justice that got Kyle into legal trouble. It was another, much less exciting story — one that wasn’t just unverifiable, but verifiably false. That tale, conveyed in a mere three pages of American Sniper, has put Kyle’s widow on the hook for US$1.845 million in damages. And it may soon make Kyle’s publishers wish they approached the veteran’s claims with a great deal of skepticism.

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