Ventura wasn't present for the verdict and didn't immediately return messages left at his home. His attorney, David Bradley Olson, said Ventura felt there were "no real winners in this trial."
"He's certainly grateful for the verdict, but his reputation with an entire generation of young SEALs may never be repaired," Olsen said, adding, "It is a victory in the sense that the jury did tell the world that Chris Kyle's story is a lie and was a fabrication."
Jurors declined to comment to reporters as they left the courthouse. They deliberated for five days before telling the judge Monday they didn't believe they could reach a unanimous verdict, but were told to keep trying. Tuesday's resolution came only after attorneys for both sides agreed to allow a verdict if eight of 10 jurors agreed.
John Borger, an attorney for Kyle's estate, said the family would consider an appeal. He faced questions about why he agreed to a non-unanimous verdict when the jury appeared close to being hung.
"That was a strategic call, which seemed appropriate at the time," Borger said.
Legal experts had said Ventura had to clear a high legal bar to win, because as a public figure he had to prove actual malice. The jury was instructed that Ventura had to prove that Kyle either knew or believed what he wrote was untrue, or that he harbored serious doubts about its truth.
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. Borger said she was "surprised and upset" when he gave her the news by phone.
The jury awarded Ventura $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment. Borger said the latter figure was subject to review and potential adjustment by U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, no relation to Chris Kyle.
At least some of that money will be covered by "American Sniper" publisher HarperCollins' insurance policy. Borger said the $1.3 million for unjust enrichment will have to come from the book profits, but Olsen believes the policy will cover all the damages. Borger said he expects both sides will file papers on that and other issues soon.