Taya Kyle, the widow of Chris Kyle, the sniper whose autobiography inspired the Oscar-nominated American Sniper, is speaking out about her husband, her marriage and her relationship with film stars Sienna Miller and Bradley Cooper.

Who Is Taya Kyle?

Kyle, 40, who has done her own fair amount of press to support the film, revealed she met Miller over Skype and the two agree they felt an instant connection.

“The first time I talked to her, I didn’t know what to expect – but after two or three sentences I was like, ‘This is good.’ She just understood. We just connected. It’s been a tremendous blessing,” Kyle said.

Miller revealed that the two spoke frequently, talking about everything from details of Kyle’s relationship with her husband, to raising their respective children. It was important for Kyle to be portrayed by an actress who knew what it was like to be a mother and to have relationship highs and lows similar to those she experienced in her marriage.

“It was important to me that whatever actress it was had a child and had also been through heartbreak. Because that was essential to my journey: the ability to love children while simultaneously having your heart broken,” Kyle told the Los Angeles Times.

Miller described Kyle as being extremely proud of her husband’s life and legacy, saying, “She’s got amazing parents and she has a strong circle of friends, and she finds comfort in realizing the impact Chris’ life has had on other people’s lives…That’s an enormous source of pride for her.”

Over the course of production, Kyle also became close with Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Chris Kyle in the film, and the two say they plan on keeping in touch. “My kids love Bradley. I genuinely love Bradley…it is a very deep experience and we have a tremendous amount of gratitude,” Kyle said in an interview with NPR.

“I honestly can’t imagine not being in the family’s life,” Cooper added.

After her husband was killed in February of 2013, Kyle started the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, a charity that organizes events for veterans and their families and aims to help members of the armed service adjust to coming home after a deployment.

Taya Kyle Legal Troubles

While American Sniper has quickly become a record-breaking success, Kyle hasn’t had an easy year. Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura sued Kyle for defamation due to a quote attributed to him in his autobiography. Ventura won the suit, and Kyle now owes Ventura a $1.8 million in damages – $500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment.

Ventura has claimed that the Kyle family will not have to pay any portion of the settlement and that the money will come from “a giant insurance company.” However, in an interview with Fox News, Kyle refuted that claim, saying that insurance would only cover $500,000, leaving her to pay the rest.

Ventura also spoke out against the film’s authenticity, calling it complete fiction and refuting the narrative’s claim that Kyle was a hero. “A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can’t have honor if you’re a liar. There is no honor in lying,” Ventura said.

Meanwhile, the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, the man charged with killing Chris Kyle and another friend, Chad Littlefield, will begin on Feb. 11. Routh has entered a plea of not guilty and is gearing up for a mental health defense, with many media outlets suggesting Routh suffered from PTSD.

Kyle has dismissed the assertion that Routh’s mental health had anything to do with the murders.

“The people I know with PTSD are good people and they live a good life. I feel like whatever you were before you went to war is what you’re gonna come out and be on the other side… But, I don’t buy it and I don’t think it’s appropriate. And I think it’s a very lame excuse for horrible behavior,” Kyle told Fox News.

Despite Kyle’s impending legal battles, Kyle is happy with American Sniper and how the film is impacting others. “But whether you see Sienna or you see me up on the screen, it doesn’t really matter. If people get the hardships, that’s enough. If there’s one other person who is married to a first-responder and sees the film and feels a little less alone, I’ll be happy.”

Read more about: