"We have undertaken some losses, some tragedies," Jonah Shacknai says

By Mike Fleeman
August 09, 2011 07:20 PM
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Credit: Courtesy Virgin Gotels Group Ltd; Inset: Dan Steinberg/AP

For the first time, pharmaceutical millionaire Jonah Shacknai spoke out about the deaths of his son and girlfriend that were tied to his San Diego area mansion.

Shacknai, the CEO of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp., opened a conference call Monday to discuss earnings by offering a “personal note of appreciation” to shareholders who had “provided me with wonderful encouragement.”

“We have undertaken some tragedies, some losses, that one couldn’t imagine experiencing in a lifetime,” Shacknai said.

Shacknai did not discuss in detail the deaths last month of son Max, 6, in an apparent fall down a staircase, or girlfriend Rebecca Zahau, who was found hanging with her hands and feet bound. Police continue to investigate.

But the executive, who has two other children, sought to reassure investors that his mind will be back on business.

“At this time, I have been with my kids, waiting for school to begin,” he said. “I expect very quickly to return to the normal work schedule at the office.”