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22 University of Denver Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, 81 (2019)


Chris Kyle's book, American Sniper, detailed his exploits as a prolific Navy SEAL sniper. In a book subchapter Kyle detailed an encounter with a "Mr. Scruff Face" in a San Diego Bar. The book states that Ventura made certain statements that were demeaning of the United States and the Navy SEALS. Scruff Face was subsequently identified by Chris Kyle as Jesse Ventura, former governor of Minnesota. Ventura sued Chris Kyle for defamation, appropriation, and unjust enrichment. Relying on trial court documents, briefs, and the opinions in the case, this article probes those theories of recovery with an emphasis on the jury instructions, with a view to establishing clearer instructions in public figure lawsuits involving overlapping defamation and appropriation claims.