MILWAUKEE (Court TV) — “My name is Kyle Rittenhouse. I was attacked. I defended myself. I was prosecuted. I was acquitted.”
For the first time on paper, the former youth cadet acquitted of killing two men and wounding a third in the deadly Kenosha shootings is telling his backstory in a new autobiography entitled, “Acquitted, by Kyle Rittenhouse.”
The book, available for pre-sale purchase, has stirred up mixed reactions on social media – some labeling Rittenhouse an “American hero” to others calling him a “murderer.”
One user, @MonitorFake, commented on X, “I just don’t understand how anyone can milk the deaths of two people for every dime they can get.”
Another user, @TeslaCowboy1, posted on X, “This country needs a million more like you.”
Rittenhouse was 18 when he stood trial on charges of homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering after killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a tumultuous night of protests over police violence against Black people in the summer of 2020.
His book, which listed his publisher, Michael Quinn Sullivan, and his lawyer, Mark Richards, as contributors, had been characterized as a story of “survival, resilience, and justice” on a social media post seen by 5.2 million people on X.
“Two years ago today, accused of unjust charges, I heard ‘NOT GUILTY’ five times over from a jury of my peers who heard the facts,” Rittenhouse wrote.
Sullivan joined Court TV’s Julie Grant on Court TV and said Rittenhouse, while acquitted of state criminal charges, is still facing multiple civil lawsuits lodged by the estate of one of the shooting victims, Joseph Rosenbaum, and Anthony Huber, who was shot and killed while trying to disarm Rittenhouse after Rosenbaum was killed.
When asked about Kyle’s motivation for writing the book, Richard said, “I think he wanted more of the whole story told.” Richards represented Kyle from the beginning to the end of his trial, which was about 15 months, and Richards said, “When I read that book there were a lot of things in there that I didn’t know. About his childhood – I knew he wasn’t raised with a silver spoon, but I had no idea the level of poverty and homelessness. […] To where Kyle is and where he was going before this happened, I think it’s a credit to Kyle to go forward,” Richard said.
The announcement of Rittenhouse’s book is unsurprising, as many marketing experts projected substantial gains from leveraging his experiences in public appearances and a book.
“He could easily secure a seven-figure book contract,” Andrew M. Stroth, a former talent agent and an attorney in Chicago with no ties to Rittenhouse told the AP. He said Rittenhouse “could monetize his brand and potentially make in the millions.”
There have also been many efforts to raise money for Rittenhouse’s legal fees or his family on GiveSendGo, one of which has raised more than $625,000 — including thousands since his acquittal.
Last year on the first anniversary of his acquittal, Rittenhouse hinted that he may bring defamation claims of his own, and could seek possession of $2 million in bail money raised by his supporters.