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Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary says he can’t remember if his wife had been drinking before the boat crashed

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary has told a Canadian court he can’t remember if his wife Linda had been drinking at dinner before a ‘chaotic’ boating accident that killed two people while driving home.

Linda has been charged with one non-criminal charge of careless use of a ship under the Canada Shipping Act for the deaths of Gary Poltash, 64, of Florida, and mother of three Susanne Brito, 48, of Ontario, who were both killed when Linda in 2019 the stargazing boat they were on crashed in Lake Joseph.

On Wednesday, Kevin said it was a “huge surprise” when they plunged into the other boat, a 16-seat Nautique, as he had only seen it seconds before the impact at about midnight.

“We went right in. It was a huge surprise,” Kevin testified via Zoom from his home in Los Angeles Worldwide news. ‘I only saw it just before. I didn’t know what we hit.’

Kevin and Linda had been dining at a cottage near Lake Joseph and were returning to their home with a family friend when she crashed into a boat of 12 stargazers in August 2019.

Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary has told a Canadian court he can't remember if his wife Linda (pictured together) had been drinking at dinner before a 'chaotic' boating accident that killed two people while driving home

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary has told a Canadian court he can’t remember if his wife Linda (pictured together) had been drinking at dinner before a ‘chaotic’ boating accident that killed two people while driving home

Kevin told a Canadian court via Zoom that it was a “huge surprise” when they plunged into the other boat, a 16-seat Nautique, because he hadn’t seen him until about midnight seconds before the impact.

Gary Poltash, 64, from Florida

Gary Poltash, 64, from Florida

Mother of three Susanne Brito, 48, from Ontario

Mother of three Susanne Brito, 48, from Ontario

Gary Poltash, 64, of Florida, and mother of three Susanne Brito, 48, of Ontario, were killed in the nighttime clash

A female officer had previously testified that Linda had told her she had only had one drink, claiming that “someone had prepared her a drink when she returned from the accident.”

Kevin told the court he can’t remember his wife being under the influence of alcohol in the hours before or after the crash, but did admit there were several hours when he wasn’t with her and said she “maybe” a had a cocktail.

Linda’s attorney, Brian Greenspan, asked Kevin, “Did you see any lights before the collision?”

Kevin replied, “Nothing. Nothing. You have to work really hard to make a boat of that size this dark.

“It’s like it had a shroud on it or something.”

He claimed there was ‘zero’ light coming from the other ship until after the collision, when he claimed the lights came on.

Linda, who serves as VP of Marketing for O'Leary Wines, was operating her and Kevin's luxury boat on Lake Joseph in Ontario, Canada on August 24, 2019 when it collided with another vessel, killing the two and injuring three others. touched.  Pictured: One of O'Leary .'s boats

Linda, who serves as VP of Marketing for O'Leary Wines, was operating her and Kevin's luxury boat on Lake Joseph in Ontario, Canada on August 24, 2019 when it collided with another vessel, killing the two and injuring three others. touched.  Pictured: One of O'Leary .'s boats

Linda, who serves as VP of Marketing for O’Leary Wines, was operating her and Kevin’s luxury boat on Lake Joseph in Ontario, Canada on August 24, 2019 when it collided with another vessel, killing the two and injuring three others. touched. Pictured: One of O’Leary .’s boats

Kevin testified that the moments after the crash were “chaotic” and that he and Linda called out to the other boat but heard no response. He said he was focused on the other passenger in their boat who was bleeding from a head injury.

He said a police officer told him in the early hours of the morning at 2 a.m. that a passenger in the other ship – now known as Gary Poltash – had died and another seriously injured. Suzana Brito died in hospital a few days later, while three others were injured.

Kevin also told the court that their boat was sailing between 14 and 20 nautical miles per hour at the time, but admitted that this was an estimate.

Whether or not the other boat had its lights on is an important aspect in this case.

Last month, a witness who was on the boat with the two victims insisted that they had their lights on the entire time before they were hit and after.

Cathryn Hibbard told the court: “It was a horrific scene on our boat. There were lights in the boat, so you could see everything.’

She said they had been sitting “idle” in the water, looking up at the sky when Lisa charged at them out of nowhere.

Linda’s boat slid on top of theirs, then went back into the water.

Cathryn said she immediately blamed them – suggesting that they had bumped into her, lying still the entire time.

The woman did all the talking in the beginning and was like ‘You hit us’ or, I don’t remember the actual words, but it sounded like she was, not confrontational, but pissed or bitchy, kinda, excuse my language, just a little cheeky.

“Frankly, I thought she was a teenager who hit our boat,” Cathryn told the court.

O'Leary his wife in Miami not long after the crash.  She will be back in court in July

O'Leary his wife in Miami not long after the crash.  She will be back in court in July

O’Leary his wife in Miami not long after the crash. She will be back in court in July

She said that before the O’Learys hit them, there was “complete silence.”

“It was absolutely quiet, quiet, serene. It was like it came out of nowhere and went so fast,” she said.

The Ontario Provincial Police officer who went to the O’Leary’s home also testified.

OPP Const. Breanne Marr said she arrived at the house to find Linda in bed with one leg sticking out of a blanket at the end.

There was an alcohol monitoring device at the end of the bed with the word ‘alert’ on it.

“She said someone had given her a drink when she came back from the accident.

“She was very hostile to us, she wasn’t cooperating, she didn’t want to talk to the police any further, and she told us quite well that she had finished talking,” she said, adding that Linda had told her she only had one drink .

Kevin O’Leary cooperated, Marr said.

Kevin told the court he can’t recall his wife being under the influence of alcohol in the hours before or after the crash, but admitted there were several hours when he was not with her.

He said he had drunk alcohol at the dinner that started at 7pm and at an earlier lunch at 2pm, but claimed he couldn’t remember if Linda had.

Kevin admitted that Linda “maybe” had a cocktail at dinner, but “probably a watered-down one because she was (the designated driver).”

“She knows that if she is the designated driver, she must be very aware of consuming alcohol,” he told the court.

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