Family of Rebecca Zahau files wrongful death lawsuit - Tucson News Now

Family of Rebecca Zahau files wrongful death lawsuit

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Dina Shacknai  (Source: CBS 5 News) Dina Shacknai (Source: CBS 5 News)
Max Shacknai (Source: CBS 5 News) Max Shacknai (Source: CBS 5 News)
SAN DIEGO (CBS5) -

On the two-year anniversary of her son's death, Dina Shacknai is responding to the wrongful death lawsuit filed against her and two other of the boy's relatives by the family of 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau.

Zahau's naked body was found hanging from a rope in the historic Spreckels Mansion in Coronado, CA, more than two years ago.

While her death was ruled a suicide, her family claims it was murder.

The mansion belonged to her boyfriend, Valley millionaire Jonah Shacknai.

He is not named in the lawsuit, but his brother, Adam Shacknai, is, as well as Jonah Shacknai's ex-wife, Dina Shacknai, and her twin sister, Nina Romano.

The lawsuit claims all three conspired to hurt and kill Zahau.

The three were never named as suspects by investigators.

Zahau was found dead just days after investigators said Jonah Shacknai's son, Max, fell down the mansion's stairs. He later died.

The lawsuit asks for $10 million in damages.

Dina Shacknai released this statement Tuesday afternoon:

"Today marks the second anniversary of the death of my only child, Maxfield Aaron Shacknai. He was six years old when he died while under the care of Rebecca Zahau.

"Yet today, instead of being able to merely mourn the loss of Maxie, my sister Nina Romano and I are dealing with a baseless lawsuit which has been filed against us. I have lost my only son and Nina has lost her only nephew. While we empathize with the Zahau family regarding their grief over the loss of Rebecca, for Nina and I to be named as parties to this frivolous lawsuit by the Zahau family is cruel and irresponsible. There is absolutely no truth to these allegations. Unfortunately, I have now been left with no alternative but to initiate significant measures to ensure the ongoing protection of myself, as well as my remaining family. The accusations are shameful and groundless and have no basis in fact or evidence.

"I respectfully ask that the public continue to keep us in their prayers as we remember Maxie on this somber occasion."

In June of last year, Dina Shacknai announced a new nonprofit to honor her son and to help children in need. Dina Shacknai said the organization, called Maxie's H.O.U.S.E., provides: Hope, Outreach, Understanding, Safety and Education and is intended to be a resource center serving parents, children, the public, caregivers and lawmakers to ensure the safety of children living in blended households.

Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on the lawsuit.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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    CONTINUING COVERAGE

    Tuesday, September 18 2012 8:21 AM EDT2012-09-18 12:21:24 GMT
    READ: Shacknai: Independent investigation refutes son's 'accidental' death (8/6/12) READ: Son of Scottsdale CEO dies after fall at mansion (7/18/12) READ: Tycoon's ex-wife: Family dog played part in
    READ: Shacknai: Independent investigation refutes son's 'accidental' death (8/6/12) READ: Son of Scottsdale CEO dies after fall at mansion (7/18/12) READ: Tycoon's ex-wife: Family dog played part in
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