Jesse Ventura and Leslie Davis: Round 4,815,162,342

picture of law books on shelf to accompany blog post about Jesse Ventura defamation caseSome defamation lawsuits are laugh-inducing; others fall into the “on-a-very-special-episode” category. And then there are the libel lawsuits that make you cringe. Entertainment wrestler, turned Minnesota Governor, turned conspiracy theorist Jesse Ventura’s lawsuit against Chris Kyle — a highly decorated Air, Sea and Land special ops (SEAL) solider — probably falls into the latter.

Jesse Ventura Sued Chris Kyle

The story begins in 2006. In his autobiography, Kyle recalled a night when both he and Ventura were at a California bar. According to Kyle, Ventura impugned the Navy SEALs that evening. And bBeing a proud SEAL, Kyle balked at Ventura’s bluster and allegedly cold-clocked the former Governor.

Ventura adamantly denied the event and sued for defamation.

Then tragedy struck. A solider suffering from PTSD shot and killed Kyle.

But instead of dropping the suit, Ventura filed a motion to have Kyle’s wife added to the claim. Litigation continued.

Enter the Environmentalist

Enter Leslie Davis – a notorious environmentalist who hates Ventura the way Yankee fans hate the Boston Red Socks. The reason behind Davis’ deep disdain?  It’s all outlined in his book “Always Cheat: The Philosophy of Jesse Ventura”.

Now, it’s important to note that Davis has been a thorn in Ventura’s side for awhile, to the point where Ventura even secured a restraining order against Davis in 2003.

But hey, a little court order didn’t keep the Ventura detractor down.

When Davis heard about Ventura suing Kyle’s wife, he requested to intervene. This is where things get interesting, from a defamation law standpoint.

Could Davis’ Intervention in the Ventura v. Kyle Defamation Lawsuit Help Mrs. Kyle?

Under United States law, third parties can request to intervene in lawsuits if they prove a vested interest in the outcome. In this instance, Davis believes Ventura lied in a November deposition related to the defamation suit and wants the transcript made public.


Davis thinks that fallacies may be lurking in Ventura’s deposition, which will affect Davis’ own legal issues with Ventura. He’s also claiming that Ventura “lied” his way into office, which resulted in “great harm to the environment,” hence, this current lawsuit and deposition is a matter of public concern. (#goodluckwiththat)

Davis is representing himself, so we’ll have to wait and see how he frames his argument.

In the meantime, it’s safe to say that if the court grants Davis the intervention, information could become public that might help Kyle’s widow. After all, what if Ventura did lie in the deposition? And considering that Davis has kept a very close watch on Jesse Ventura for years, who knows, maybe he would be able to prove the former governor wasn’t truthful about something. Theoretically, any proof of dishonesty on Ventura’s part could severely hurt his chances of winning – and help Kyle put this additional nightmare behind her.

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