The Shmooze

Jewish Mogul’s Girlfriend Found Dead in Grisly Scene

By Michael Kaminer

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The female companion of a Jewish pharmaceutical mogul — whose company manufactures wrinkle-filler Restylane — was found dead Thursday at his 13,000-square-foot San Diego mansion, Reuters reports.

The body of Rebecca Nalepa, 32, was discovered on Wednesday morning at the historic seaside mansion owned by Medicis Pharmaceutical Corp chief executive Jonah Shacknai in Coronado, “an upscale island beach resort connected to San Diego by a long bridge,” Reuters said. Medicis is based in Scottsdale, AZ.

San Diego CBS affiliate KFMB said police found Nalepa nude, hanging from a balcony, her hands and feet bound. KFMB reported that Adam Shacknai, the executive’s brother, had discovered the body and called 911.

A 2000 profile in the Jewish News of Greater Phoenix described Shacknai as believing “his own success in business means he has responsibility toward those who have had fewer opportunities to achieve the same level of success.”

Shacknai told the paper he developed his sense of social responsibility while growing up in Manhattan. “There was a strong Jewish tradition in my household,” said Shacknai, who told the paper his parents were “early Zionist settlers in Palestine.”

The CEO said he “certainly wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I had two kind parents and, while we certainly weren’t wealthy, I was given every advantage educationally and culturally, and strong values to contribute and succeed.” Shacknai also admitted to being “deeply superstitious”.

Shares of Medicis, which reported 2010 revenues of $700 million, tumbled by as much as 5 percent following news of the investigation, Reuters reported.


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