‘Shark Tank’ Star Kevin O’Leary’s Wife Found Not Guilty After Boat Crash Kills Two

by Matthew Memrick

A Canadian judge found the wife of “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary not guilty of a criminal charge after killing two in a 2019 boat wreck.

The Daily Mail reported the judge dropped the charge in Linda O’Leary’s case. 

On Aug. 24, 2019, Linda O’Leary was the boat operator in a Lake Joseph boat crash. Her “Shark Tank” husband, Kevin O’Leary, and another friend were passengers. Ontario police officials initially charged Linda O’Leary with a non-criminal count of careless operation.

When her boat crashed into another vessel, two passengers died while three others were injured.

Court Details Show More ‘Shark Tank’ Wife’s Case

In his ruling, Judge Richard Humphrey said prosecutors did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Linda O’Leary was reckless in her boat driving.

Humphrey concluded that the other boat had its life off when it struck O’Leary’s vessel, a 16-seat Nautique. He determined this fact despite claims from others that lights were on. In June, Cathryn Hubbard told the court that she had seen lights on in the boat “so you could see everything.”

In court, some passengers in the other boat with 12 people claimed it was on a stargazing excursion.

“The purpose of the venture into the open waters of Lake Joseph… was to acquire an unobstructed view of the night sky without interference from artificial light,’ Humphrey said. 

Humphrey said that if the boat traveled to its location to see stars and then turned on its lights, it would not have served passengers well.  

The judge said that evidence over speed, unsafe operation, and alcohol use was absent in the case.

Court Details Show More to ‘Shark Tank’ Wife’s Case

According to her attorney, Linda O’Leary was “very emotional” over the fact that “she was involved in an accident where two people tragically lost their lives, although she didn’t contribute in any way to that tragedy.”

The Toronto Star reported on the scene after court. The Parry Sound, Ontario verdict was also live-streamed.

Attorney Brian Greenspan argued that Linda O’Leary should not have faced charges from the beginning. According to The Daily Mail, Linda O’Leary would have faced a fine instead of jail time if convicted of the non-criminal charge according to the Canada Shipping Act. 

Wife Had One Drink, If Any

Her husband, “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary, said he did not remember if she had been drinking at a dinner party before the boat crash. His statement came in her July trial.

Kevin O’Leary said his wife knew she would be aware of her drinking if she was the designated driver. The “Shark Tank” actor and investor also said she may have seen her drink a watered-down drink.

In court proceedings, paramedics did not see any signs of intoxication with Linda O’Leary. Additionally, a female officer said Linda O’Leary told her she had one drink that night and that “someone had made her a drink when she returned from the accident.”

Renewed for a thirteenth season in the spring, the ABC show “Shark Tank” will return on Oct. 8.[9]