Millionaire CEO Jonah Shaknai, ex-wife had several domestic disputes while married, cops say


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Jonah Shacknai (left) and Rebecca Zahau, the millionaire's now-deceased girlfriend.
Jonah Shacknai (left) and Rebecca Zahau, the millionaire's now-deceased girlfriend.

There was trouble in paradise even before a 6-year-old boy and his dad's girlfriend died mysteriously just two days apart inside a historic California mansion.

The divorced parents of the dead child twice called police during domestic disputes that turned physical when their marriage collapsed in 2008 and 2009, according to police reports.

The details were made public after little Max Shacknai died Sunday night from injuries suffered in a July 11 fall while Rebecca Zahau was babysitting the boy.

Two days after his accident, Zahau's naked body was found hanging from the balcony of the $12.75 million Spreckels mansion, her wrists and ankles bound. The 32-year-old was seeing the dead boy's father, multimillionaire Jonah Shacknai.

Investigators say they have not linked the two deaths, and believe Max's fatal tumble down the stairs was an accident. Zahau's possible suicide was under investigation.

But police reports from the Arizona home once shared by phamaceuticals tycoon Shacknai and ex-wife Dina showed they had swapped claims of physical and verbal abuse with police.

In the 2009 confrontation, Dina Shacknai claimed her husband elbowed her in the chest and swore at her. He denied the charge, asserting that she was screaming at him, "You cannot leave me!"

Max Shacknai, 6, tragically died this week. (Family Photo/AP)

The year before, Jonah Shacknai claimed that Dina tried to strangle him - and the family dog bit her as the conflict escalated.

The couple released a statement saying the release of the police reports came at a devastating time.

"While our marriage did not work out as either of us had hoped, it did produce a wonderful son, Max ... His loss is unimaginable," said the statement released to KSAZ-TV.

"These police reports are not reflective of the totality or the precise details of the events during a difficult time in our marriage that we worked through together ... We request that the privacy of our family be respected."


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