Kevin O'Leary is opening up months after his involvement in a fatal boat crash on Ontario's Lake Joseph. Speaking to CP24 seven months after the crash, which left two people dead, the Shark Tank star revealed that the incident "really affected" his wife, Linda O'Leary, who was driving one of the two vessels involved, and stated his hopes that full forensic evidence will be released so that they and the other families involved can move past the tragedy.
"What we really need is to get the forensic evidence completely disclosed to all the families," O'Leary said, according to CTV News. "We all want this out."
"All the speculation and the tabloids and all that stuff, that's unfortunate, but I feel for the victims of this horrific accident – including my family too," O'Leary said. "My wife, this really affects her. I feel for her obviously, I have to watch this every day."
"Let's flush it (the investigation) with transparency," he continued. "Let's bring it forward to put it to rest for all of them."
O'Leary and his wife had been aboard their boat in the late evening hours of Aug. 24, 2019 when it collided with a second larger vessel, Gary Poltash, 64, from Florida, and Susanne Brito, a 48-year-old mother-of-three from Uxbridge, Ontario, among the passengers on the boat. They did not survive.
In the wake of the collision, conflicting reports surfaced regarding the cause, with O'Leary stating that the second vessel failed to have navigation lights, something that was later confirmed by authorities, and Brito's family, in a wrongful death lawsuit, alleging that Linda was driving her vessel while impaired. The O'Leary's lawyer has insisted that the "accident had nothing to do with alcohol" and that Linda "was not impaired; she is a highly experienced boater who was proceeding cautiously with due care and attention."
Canadian authorities eventually leveled a charge of careless operation of a vessel against Linda, claiming that she was driving at an unsafe speed of 17 mph, and failure to exhibit navigation lights against the driver of the second boat, Richard Ruh
The investigation into the incident as well as the court proceedings are ongoing. Linda faces a maximum $10,000 fine if found guilty. The lawsuit from the victim's family is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages, as the O'Leary's "behaved with arrogance, high-handedness and have shown a callous disregard and complete lack of care."