One evening in 2019, a group of six teen friends from Hampton, South Carolina, were looking forward to a night out at a party. But during the early morning hours of February 24, everything changed because of a horrific boating accident. Morgan Doughty was one of the six that had to deal with injury, pain, trauma, and the grief of losing one of her best friends at such a young age.
HBO Max’s ‘Low Country: The Murdaugh Dynasty’ and Netflix’s ‘Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal’ focuses on the various controversies surrounding the Murdaugh Family and delves into this accident, especially since Morgan’s once-boyfriend, Paul Murdaugh, was accused of driving the boat under the influence.
Who is Morgan Doughty?
At the time of the incident, Morgan had recently ended her relationship with 19-year-old Paul from an influential local family owing to his drinking issues and physical abuse, as per the Netflix original. Yet, on February 23, 2019, the two still planned to attend a house party alongside some of their friends, Mallory, her boyfriend Anthony Cook, Anthony’s cousin Connor Cook, and Connor’s girlfriend/Mallory’s best friend Miley Altman. The group decided to head to the party in Paul’s family boat despite the cold, fully aware that there was alcohol on it. Since all of them were under 21, Paul used the ID of his older brother, Buster Murdaugh, to purchase liquor.
But alas, at around 2:20 am on February 24, the boat crashed in a creek near Parris Island, South Carolina, ejecting three of them and ending with the death of Mallory Beach. Morgan survived, but she did suffer severe injuries to her hand, fingers, and other parts of her body and was immediately rushed to the hospital. Legal documents later revealed that Paul was drunk and “belligerent” that night, yet he insisted on driving the boat despite his state.
According to Anthony and Miley, Paul had gotten into an argument with Morgan owing to the way he was rashly steering before he “slapped, pushed, and spat” on her in a way that made it clear it wasn’t the first time he’d done so in the four years they’d known one another. Morgan later remembered how she and Mallory cowered in the boat holding hands while Paul sped away. However, she stated that Paul never was never this way when he was sober but had the problem of drinking to excess. Morgan also claimed to have seen him dabble with drugs.
In the years since the accident, Morgan has also stated that Paul drank almost every day and would always get to the point where he was grossly intoxicated. Their group had even named his drunk alter ego Timmy as he was nothing like sober Paul, who was apparently kind, caring, and relatively careful. She added that Paul’s parents as well as his older brother knew about the issue but did nothing to help. In fact, according to Morgan, his parents appeared to condone his behavior by providing him with credit cards to buy alcohol. Furthermore, she had videos where Paul appears intoxicated on a boat with other minors after drinking alcohol allegedly provided by his parents.
Morgan Doughty is Embracing Life After Heartache
While Paul Murdaugh was later criminally charged with three counts of boating under the influence causing death or bodily harm, he never faced trial because he and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh, were found shot to death on their property in June 2021. This led to Morgan filing a creditor’s claim for $10 million against the estate of Paul and Maggie in January 2022. In the following month, she further sought punitive damages for “permanent scarring and disfigurement” because of the accident. In court documents, she made it clear that Maggie had spoken to her extremely intoxicated younger son sometime before the crash but still didn’t do anything to guide him.
Since then, though, it appears as if Morgan has been doing her best to move on. She admittedly even gave therapy a try, but she wasn’t able to find a counselor that really suited her needs. So, she’s been dealing with the grief and trauma from her past relationship with Paul, Mallory’s death, and Paul’s murder mostly on her own. We say “mostly” because she does a support system by her side — one that comprises her parents, Miley Altman, her other close friends, and her boyfriend since 2019, Batten Bostick. From what we can tell, Morgan now prefers to go by her middle name Louise but is still based in South Carolina alongside the actual “love of her life,” Batten. In addition, she cares for a pet dog and recently got a tattoo with Miley and another friend to honor their friendship with Mallory.