Dina Shacknai said Thursday the lawsuit accusing her of murder in the 2011 hanging death of her millionaire ex-husband's girlfriend at a California mansion "makes no sense.”
Shacknai spoke exclusively to NBC 7 more than three years after the deaths of her son Max Shacknai Rebecca Zahau at the Spreckels Coronado mansion. The medical examiner ruled Zahau's death a suicide and Max's an accident as a result of a fall from a staircase in the home.
“It makes no sense to me," she said of the lawsuit. "We have been accused of horrific, horrible actions that are deplorable."
The suit filed by Zahau's family claims Shacknai, her twin sister Nine Romano and ex-husband's brother Adam conspired to kill Zahau. It accuses Shacknai of hitting Zahau four times in the back of the head and then working with the other two to strip the unconscious woman, gag her and hang her with a rope over the balcony.
Shacknai lost her six-year-old son Max after a tragic fall inside his father Jonah's Coronado mansion in July 2011. The only person there at the time was Rebecca Zahau, Johah's girlfriend--who just days after Max's death was found nude, bound and hanging from the mansion's second-story balcony.
“I never had the opportunity to ask what happened," said Shacknai.
Since both deaths, there have been countless investigators and attorneys involved. Shacknai's experts say her son's death was a homicide. Zahau's family believes someone also killed her. Their latest allegations were detailed in a $10 million wrongful death suit against Shacknai
Shacknai said the accusations in the suit are unfounded and said there is no way those actions could have happened.
"Frankly it's in my interest to find out what happened to her as well because I know for a fact who was not there. I was not there and neither was my sister," she told NBC 7.
Shacknai believes the Zahau family deserves to have answers but can't understand why she's a target. In the midst of everything, she said she tries to focus on the time she spent with her son and the work she's doing through the organization she started in his name.
"The closure for me will come with the resolution of these lawsuits because they are not productive, and the closure will be through Maxie's house, which is something positive,” said Shacknai.
Depositions for this civil case have started. In October, a federal judge ruled the wrongful death lawsuit in the case of Zahau will move forward. Judge Whelan said looking at the accusations in a light most favorable to the plaintiffs, the factual allegations are sufficient to support the conspiracy theory. Zahau family Attorney Keith Greer believes the case will not be settled and will go to a jury trial.