Linda O’Leary, wife of Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, has been formally charged with careless driving after a boat crash in August resulted in the death of two people. Linda was driving the couple’s boat on Lake Joseph in Ontario on August 24 when it crashed into another boat, killing two passengers and injuring three more.
Charges against Linda were filed on Tuesday, with Ontario Provincial Police spokesperson Carolle Dionne announcing that O’Leary faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail or a $1 million fine. According to O’Leary’s lawyer Brian Greenspan, who contacted TMZ with his statement, Dionne is incorrect in her charges. Greenspan says that 18 months and $1 million is for an ocean-going vessel, while the maximum penalty for a pleasure craft like the one that Linda was operating is a $10,000 fine and no jail time. Greenspan also contacted CNN and confirmed that he will be sending a representative in place of O’Leary when she’s due to appear in court for the charges on October 29, and that Linda plans to “vigorously fight the charge.”
The OPP reportedly has five videos of the crash that were obtained from different spots on the lake. The videos show that O’Leary was driving 17 MPH at 11:30 p.m., an unsafe speed for that time of night. Police are also charging the other driver, who initially told police that his navigation lights were on, but according to the videos of the crash it looks as though that was not the case.
According to the police report, one person died on the scene while another died later in hospital. Three other passengers in total were injured, including one on the O’Leary boat. Kevin O’Leary, who was also a passenger, was not injured. Kevin O’Leary’s agent Jay Sures told CNN that Linda was given a DUI test following the crash and reportedly passed.
Kevin O’Leary, who often goes by Mr. Wonderful, issued a statement following the crash, saying “Now that the authorities have concluded their thorough investigation, I have no further comment other than to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and families of those who lost loved ones in this awful tragedy. Our hearts go out to them.”
Kevin O’Leary founded the software company SoftKey in the early 1980s, later renaming it The Learning Company and selling it to Mattel in 1999 in a multi-billion-dollar deal. O’Leary has appeared on numerous TV shows including Dragon’s Den, Shark Tank and SqueezePlay and has released multiple books on financial planning. In 2017, O’Leary campaigned to be head of the Conservative Party but eventually dropped out.