MINNEAPOLIS - The proceedings took a turn towards the testy Monday morning in the defamation lawsuit filed by former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura against the estate of former military sniper Chris Kyle.
After some questioning by his own attorney David Olson, Kyle's attorney Chuck Webber began a cross-examination of Ventura, who claims a passage in Kyle's book "American Sniper" destroyed his reputation and drastically impacted his income.
During questioning by Olson, Ventura told the court that in the decade before Kyle's book came out he made close to $11 million. He says the damage to his reputation reduced that income by 90 percent, telling the court he made around $100,000 each of the past two years.
Ventura says the third season of his True TV show "Conspiracy Theory" was delayed after the release of Kyle's book, which claimed that Kyle knocked Ventura out in a California bar after hearing the former Minnesota governor making disparaging remarks about the SEALS. He also mentioned that the show was not renewed for a fourth season.
Ventura acknowledges that he was in the bar that night in 2006 but says the story that Kyle punched him is a lie.
During cross examination Webber used excerpts from books written by Ventura in an attempt to poke holes in his story. He also pursued a track that questioned whether Ventura was actually a Navy SEAL. The Kyle family attorney then went through Ventura's tax returns from the last decade, with income ranging from a low of $190,000 in 2012 to a high of $3,700,000 in 2003.
At one point Webber asked Ventura if he wanted all the proceeds from Kyle's book and a manuscript that is set to become a movie. "I've been damaged," Ventura replied.
"As far as you know this book is all about you," Weber said to Ventura.
"Yes," Ventura answered.
Webber maintains it isn't the book, but Ventura's outrageous and offensive comments on television and in his books that damaged his reputation and reduced Ventura's income.
The defense called it's first witness on Monday afternoon. Laverne Deshazo, who is the sister of a Navy SEAL. She testified that she saw Ventura get hit, but that she was not able to identify who punched him.