Slain author feared Ventura tale had eclipsed book

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Slain author feared Ventura tale had eclipsed book
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura returns from lunch to the federal courthouse in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, July 8, 2014, the first day of a trial in a lawsuit Ventura filed against the estate of the late former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Ventura filed the defamation lawsuit claiming that Kyle's account of a bar fight in a book he wrote was false. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Taya Kyle, the widow of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, arrives with her attorneys at the federal courthouse Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in St. Paul, Minn., for the start of a trial in a lawsuit filed by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura against the Kyle estate. Ventura filed the defamation lawsuit claiming that Chris Kyle's account of a bar fight in a book he wrote was false. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura makes his way back into Warren E. Burger Federal Building during the first day of jury selection in a defamation lawsuit, Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in St. Paul, Minn. Ventura filed the defamation lawsuit against the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle's estate, claiming that Kyle's account of a bar fight in a book he wrote was false. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Taya Kyle, the widow of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, arrives at the federal courthouse Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in St. Paul, Minn., for the start of a trial in a lawsuit filed by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura against the Kyle estate. Ventura filed the defamation lawsuit claiming that Chris Kyle's account of a bar fight in a book he wrote was false. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2013 file photo Christopher Kyle's wife, Taya, is escorted to her seat after memorializing her husband in Arlington, Texas. Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura sued Chris Kyle, the author of the best-selling book “American Sniper,” for defamation in 2012 after Kyle claimed in his book that he punched Ventura at a California bar. Ventura says the incident never happened, and he’s suing for damages. Kyle, of Texas, was killed last year on a gun range while the lawsuit was pending. His widow, Taya Kyle, is now the central defendant in the case, which goes to trial on Tuesday, July 8, in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2011 file photo, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, left, talks to the media in Minneapolis. Ventura sued Chris Kyle, the author of the best-selling book “American Sniper,” for defamation in 2012 after Kyle claimed in his book that he punched Ventura at a California bar. Ventura says the incident never happened, and he’s suing for damages. Kyle, of Texas, was killed last year on a gun range while the lawsuit was pending. His widow, Taya Kyle, is now the central defendant in the case, which goes to trial on Tuesday, July 8, in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2012 file photo, former Minnesota Gov. Jessie Ventura speaks at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., in support of Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson prior to an address by Johnson. A judge on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, allowed Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the widow of slain "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle to go to trial. Ventura alleges Kyle, considered to be the deadliest sniper in American history, defamed him in his best-selling book. In it, Kyle claimed he punched someone named "Scruff Face," whom he later identified as Ventura, in a 2006 bar fight. Ventura says the fight never happened. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
FILE - In this May 15, 2008 file photo, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura signs his new book, "Don't Start the Revolution Without Me," during an appearance at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. Ventura contends he isn't going after the widow of slain "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle by continuing his defamation lawsuit. Ventura told The Associated Press late Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, his fight is with the publisher's insurance company. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2002 file photo, then Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura speaks during a news conference in St. Paul, Minn. Ventura contends he isn't going after the widow of slain "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle by continuing his defamation lawsuit. Ventura told The Associated Press late Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, his fight is with the publisher's insurance company. (AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid,File)
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Jurors in Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit on Thursday heard a slain military sniper say in a recording that he didn't want his book overshadowed by a story about his alleged bar fight with the former Minnesota governor.

Ventura's attorney played a section of "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle's deposition. Kyle, a former Navy SEAL, was fatally shot last year at a Texas gun range.

Ventura claims that Kyle made up a story in his best-selling autobiography about punching Ventura outside a California bar in 2006.

"American Sniper," published in January 2012, describes a fight with an unnamed celebrity Kyle dubbed "Scruff Face." Kyle later gave interviews on Sirius XM radio and Fox TV in which he identified Ventura as the man.

In his deposition, Kyle said that he was shocked the three pages about the alleged incident drew so much attention, the Star Tribune reported.

"Like I said, the story has been greatly exaggerated over the years," Kyle told Ventura's attorney, David B. Olsen.

Kyle's deposition included emails suggesting Kyle's publicists were pleased with the media coverage from the controversy, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

Ventura, a former SEAL who was Minnesota governor from 1999-2003, pursued his lawsuit even after Kyle was killed in February 2013, saying it was important to clear his name. Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, is now the defendant.

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