Jesse "The Body" Ventura objects to airport body scans

MINNEAPOLIS Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:35pm EST

Cable news channel MSNBC has been in talks with Minnesota's independent governor Jesse Ventura about hosting a political talk show after he leaves office in January, a source said November 13, 2002. REUTERS

Cable news channel MSNBC has been in talks with Minnesota's independent governor Jesse Ventura about hosting a political talk show after he leaves office in January, a source said November 13, 2002.

Credit: Reuters

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MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - Former professional wrestler, Minnesota governor and current TV show host Jesse "The Body" Ventura objects to having the U.S. government get a close look at his body while going through airport security.

In a lawsuit filed this week against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, Ventura claims that airport full-body scans and pat-downs violate his Constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The department had no immediate comment on Tuesday regarding the lawsuit filed on Monday.

Ventura, who currently hosts the television program "Conspiracy Theory," had hip replacement surgery in 2008 and received a titanium implant. The implant sets off airport metal detectors.

Before November, 2010, Ventura had to go through a non-invasive hand-wand inspection when he set off the alarm. But since new security measures took effect last November, Ventura says he has been subject to pat-down body searches or whole body imaging, which uses backscatter x-ray or millimeter wave technology to look through clothing for weapons or explosive material.

Ventura, who has to fly two or three times a week for his TV show, said in his lawsuit that the full-body scans are "intrusive" and "degrading," as well as a possible health risk, while the pat-downs include "touching, gripping and rubbing of the genital and other sensitive areas."

Ventura noted that he has to go through the scans despite the fact that he is a frequent flyer, a former governor, a U.S. Navy veteran, and has an easily verifiable medical condition. Ventura could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski, additional reporting by Ahndi Fridell, Editing by Greg McCune)

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