The wife of Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary had alcohol on her breath on the night she was involved in a fatal boat crash, unsealed search warrant documents reveal.
Linda O’Leary was driving her boat on Lake Joseph in Ontario, Canada on August 24 when it collided with another vessel, killing two people on board.
Police previously stated that Linda was not drinking or taking drugs at time the accident occurred, but the new documents obtained by CBC News on Tuesday state that she ‘was administered an alcohol screening device test [after the crash] and it registered an alert’.
Linda has vehemently denied she drank alcohol before or while steering her vessel, with the document stating that ‘she claims to have consumed a drink of vodka following the collision but prior to the breath test’.
She reportedly does not remember who handed her the alcoholic beverage in the aftermath of the crash.
Linda’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan, had told CBC that his client was not intoxicated at the time of the crash and that the accident ‘had nothing to do with alcohol’.
Linda O’Leary, the wife of Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, had alcohol on her breath on the night she was involved in a fatal boat crash, unsealed search warrant documents reveal. The couple is pictured
Gary Poltash, 64, from Florida, and mother-of-three Susanne Brito, 48, from Ontario, were killed in the nighttime collision. The driver of their boat, New York native Richard Ruh, has been charged for driving without navigation lights.
Meanwhile, Ontario Provincial Police have charged Linda with ‘careless operation of a vessel’. As it is not a criminal charge, Linda will not face jail time if found guilty.
Earlier this month, the family of Susanne Brito filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the O’Learys after learning that Linda would not be facing jail time over the crash.
Brito’s parents, Rosa and Antonio Ragone, and sister, Paula, are seeking punitive, exemplary and aggravated damages for wrongful death.
The wealthy O’Learys are estimated to have a net worth of $400million.
Linda and Kevin were out on Lake Joseph in Ontario, Canada on August 24 when the crash occurred
Gary Poltash (left), 64, from Florida, and mother-of-three Susanne Brito (right), 48, from Ontario, were killed on August 24 when the boat Linda was driving crashed into another vessel during the nighttime outing
In September, police charged Linda with ‘careless operation of a vessel’. Linda initially faced 18-months in jail and a $1M fine, but because the charge against her isn’t criminal, if found guilty, she will be fined and not jailed. Pictured is one of many boats owned by the O’Learys
In a news release,their attorney Patrick Brown, of McLeish Orlando LLP, stated: ‘For this grieving family, it is about obtaining civil justice so as to prevent these types of deaths and curtailing reckless and dangerous behavior from continuing on our lakes.’
‘Our family has lost a beautiful, loving person. We are devastated,’ Brito’s mother said in the release.
‘We sincerely hope that through this process, that justice is served and that steps are taken so that innocent victims like Suzie, are not seriously injured and killed and that other families do not have to go through such pain and loss,’ Rosa added.
Linda vigorously denies having consumed any alcohol prior to driving her boat. She is pictured with her reality TV star husband
Authorities said Poltash died instantly when Kevin O’Leary’s smaller vessel crashed into theirs and struck him in the head.
However, Brito suffered severe injuries and died two days later in a hospital.
A source connected to the owner of the larger boat claimed that O’Leary’s boat fled the scene after the collision, but a representative for the Shark Tank fixture said that it was the other boat that left the scene.
O’Leary’s representative went on to say that his wife was administered a DUI test after the accident and passed it.
Kevin released a short statement trying to clear up the matter in the days after the crash.
Kevin released a short statement trying to clear up the matter in the days after the crash. He then returned to TV screens just 72 hours after the crash, with an appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell (pictured)
‘I was a passenger in a boat that had a tragic collision with another craft that had no navigation lights on and then fled the scene of the accident,’ he wrote, shortly after the crash.
‘I am fully cooperating with authorities.’
‘Out of respect for the families who have lost loved ones and to fully support the ongoing investigation, I feel it is inappropriate to make further comments at this time. My thoughts are with all the families affected.’
He returned to TV screens just 72 hours after the crash, with an appearance on CNBC’s Closing Bell.