Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8 million in lawsuit against sniper
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura won $1.8 million Tuesday in his two-year fight to prove he was defamed by a military sniper and best-selling author who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing the Navy SEALs.
A federal jury in St. Paul, Minnesota, sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Though Ventura honed a tough-guy reputation as a pro wrestler and action movie actor, he maintained the legal battle was about clearing his name among his beloved fellow Navy SEALs, not about losing a supposed fight.
Kyle – reputed to be the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history – said in his memoir that he punched Ventura in California in 2006 after Ventura said the SEALs “deserved to lose a few” in Iraq. Ventura disputed that the confrontation, including the punch, ever happened.
After Kyle was killed last year at a Texas gun range, Ventura’s lawsuit moved forward with Kyle’s widow, Taya Kyle, as the defendant. She wasn’t in court to hear the verdict. John Borger, an attorney for Kyle’s estate, said she was “surprised and upset” when he gave her the news by phone.
Jazz duet with Bennett easy for Gaga
Lady Gaga is a bona fide pop star, but the singer says recording jazz music was easier than pop.
Gaga has spent two years recording an album of jazz standards with Tony Bennett called “Cheek to Cheek,” to be released Sept. 23.
“You know, it’s funny, but jazz comes a little more comfortable for me than pop music, than R&B music,” Gaga said in an interview Monday. “I’ve sung jazz since I was 13 years old, which is kind of like my little secret that Tony found out. So this is almost easier for me than anything else.”
Gaga made the comments with Bennett by her side ahead of the duo’s taped performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City for PBS, which will air in the fall. The album’s first single, a cover of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” was released Tuesday. Other selections from the Great American Songbook that appear on “Cheek to Cheek” include “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Lush Life” and the title track.
The 28-year-old and 87-year-old Bennett first collaborated on his Grammy-winning, platinum-selling 2011 album, “Duets II.”
Blues musician Buddy Guy is 78. Movie director Peter Bogdanovich is 75. Singer Paul Anka is 73. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is 67. Actor Jean Reno is 66. Actress Delta Burke is 58. Singer-songwriter Kate Bush is 56. Actor Laurence Fishburne is 53. Actress Lisa Kudrow is 51. Actress Vivica A. Fox is 50. Actor Terry Crews is 46. Actress Hilary Swank is 40. Actress Joey King is 15.