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Billionaire Dole Food heir arrested after ‘punching his model girlfriend in the face’

Billionaire Dole Food heir Justin Murdock was arrested for allegedly slugging his model girlfriend in the face, leaving her with a nasty black eye at his mansion following a Halloween party they attended at the Scarface mansion in Beverly Hills, DailyMail.com has learned.

The 49-year-old’s argument with 24-year-old Talia Skye began when she demanded to leave the party early, it was alleged. On her way back to his home in the ritzy Bel-Air enclave of Los Angeles, she texted a girlfriend to come pick her up, expressing concern that he might hurt her.

Murdock is the sole surviving heir of David Murdock, his 98-year-old father who is former chairman of Dole Food Products. He allegedly punched Skye before her friend arrived.

‘When I got there, she was laying on the driveway crying,’ her friend, DailyMail.com will identify as Juliana, told DailyMail.com. ‘I picked her off the ground and I saw her face. It was completely swollen, with a green-blue color.’

Justin Murdock began dating Talia Skye in August. For their first date, he invited her to his father’s sprawling ranch, a source told DailyMail.com. DailyMail.com obtained a horrific photo of Skye’s battered and bruised face

Billionaire Dole Food heir Justin Murdock, 49, was arrested for allegedly punching his model girlfriend Talia Skye, 24, in the face. They're pictured seated at a table together

Billionaire Dole Food heir Justin Murdock, 49, was arrested for allegedly punching his model girlfriend Talia Skye, 24, in the face. They’re pictured seated at a table together 

The incident took place October 29, 2021, at his LA mansion after they left a Halloween party

The incident took place October 29, 2021, at his LA mansion after they left a Halloween party

Murdock began dating Skye in August. For their first date, he invited her to his father's sprawling ranch, a source told DailyMail.com. DailyMail.com obtained a horrific photo of Skye's battered and bruised face

Murdock began dating Skye in August. For their first date, he invited her to his father’s sprawling ranch, a source told DailyMail.com. DailyMail.com obtained a horrific photo of Skye’s battered and bruised face

‘She was crying really hard, not saying anything,’ Juliana recalled.

She said she saw Murdock standing nearby, shirtless and flailing his arms.

The incident took place October 29, 2021, at his LA mansion after they left a Halloween party 

‘I asked him what happened, and he told me she’s crazy and drunk and that she must have done that to herself,’ Juliana said. ‘He was hysterical. He was screaming at me, saying ‘I don’t hit women.’

After they drove off, Skye reported the alleged assault to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who arrested him later that morning. He posted $50,000 bail and is due back in court March 2.

The district attorney’s office has yet to charge him, as the police investigation continues.

Murdock’s lawyer, James E. Silverstein, told DailyMail.com that his client believes this was all a setup, that her wound was ‘self-inflicted’ and that this was nothing more than a ploy to extort him.

Silverstein said that shortly after the arrest, Skye’s lawyer Duncan Levin called him and ‘carefully suggested that this could all go away in exchange for a large sum of money and that his client would not leak this story to the media if the sum was paid. 

‘Murdock refused to pay any such sums because he is innocent and will not be blackmailed, even though he realized that this horrendous and damaging claim would then be made public,’ Silverstein said. 

He also said that his side has shared video, audio and photo evidence and presented ‘independent third-party witnesses’ who will ‘prove that this woman’s facial injury was self-inflicted.’

The lawyer put DailyMail.com in touch with two witnesses, both friends of Murdock. Neither was present when the alleged assault took place, but both said they saw them at the party and that she appeared intoxicated, bumping into people on the dance floor.

The defense witnesses said that after the couple left, Murdock called, asking them to come over to his mansion because Skye was acting up and that he feared he was being set up.

One of his friends, a female, said that when she arrived, Skye was leaving with her friend.

‘I asked her what happened,’ the woman told DailyMail.com. ‘She said she’d hurt her head, but I didn’t see any marks on her.’ 

Skye reported the alleged assault to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, who arrested him later that morning. He posted $50,000 bail and is due back in court March 2

Skye reported the alleged assault to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who arrested him later that morning. He posted $50,000 bail and is due back in court March 2

Murdock is the sole surviving heir of David Murdock, his 98-year-old father who is former chairman of Dole Food Products. Father and son are pictured together in 2002

Murdock is the sole surviving heir of David Murdock, his 98-year-old father who is former chairman of Dole Food Products. Father and son are pictured together in 2002

Skye, a model and artist, has 138,000 followers on Instagram where she regularly posts racy photos of herself

Skye, a model and artist, has 138,000 followers on Instagram where she regularly posts racy photos of herself

Skye, a model and artist, has 138,000 followers on Instagram where she regularly posts racy photos of herself

The Murdock family fortune and misfortunes 

Justin Murdock, 49, is the son of David Murdock, 98. 

David made his $2.4 billion fortune at the helm of the Dole Food Company, a fresh fruit  producer and marketer.

He came from humble beginnings, moving to Los Angeles in the 80s and working as a real estate developer. 

In 1985 Murdock took over the nearly bankrupt Hawaiian firm Castle & Cooke, which owned Dole Food Company – turning Dole into the world’s largest producer of fruits and vegetables.  

He has been married six times, has three children and has had a life marred with tragedy. 

His wife Gabriele was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1983 and died in 1985. A year later, his son Eugene died after hitting his head while swimming in the family estate’s swimming pool. In 2004 his son David Jr. died in an auto accident on the Santa Monica Freeway.

His remaining son Justin is the CEO of Activate Immunotherapy, formerly NovaRx, and previously served as vice president of investments at Castle & Cooke Inc. and on the board of directors at Dole Food Company.

In 2011, Forbes ranked David Sr. as the 190th-richest person in the ‘Forbes 400’ list and 613th in the ‘World’s Billionaires’ list, with a net worth of 2.4 billion as of March 2013.

Murdock is the CEO of Activate Immunotherapy, formerly NovaRx, and previously served as vice president of investments at Castle & Cooke Inc. and on the board of directors at Dole Food Company.

He’s also an uber-wealthy playboy, who’s reportedly dated Avril Lavigne and Lana Del Ray, and a reputed bad boy. He once got into a bar brawl with oil heir Brandon Davis in Hollywood.

In 2010, a former employee at Castle & Cooke filed a sexual harassment suit against Murdock, accusing him of regularly debasing her and other women, including ordering her to book sex dates for him on her credit cards and threatening to fire or kill her if she objected, according to a report at the time in the New York Post.

He also allegedly forced her to create a Facebook account for him under the name ‘Cobra McJingleballs,’ and filled it with raunchy and occasionally racist images, the Post reported.

Murdock’s lawyer, however, told DailyMail.com that the suit was dismissed.

Murdock and Skye met through a mutual friend in July. Skye, a model and artist, has 138,000 followers on Instagram where she regularly posts racy photos of herself.

She was previously rumored to be dating Justin Bieber, who posted a photo of himself in 2015 cozying up to the then-teenager, his hand holding her waist, according to Hollywood Life, a gossip site that reposted the picture.

Bieber was also rumored to have dated Skye’s cousin Chantel Jeffries, who was reportedly with him when he got arrested for drag racing in Miami in 2014.

Murdock began dating Skye in August. For their first date, he invited her to his father’s sprawling ranch in Thousand Oaks, California, a source told DailyMail.com. 

Skye’s close friend Juliana said Murdock was anything but a gentleman when she’d see them together. She described him as ‘extremely aggressive and nasty’ toward Skye and also her.

‘He would make gross sexual comments toward me which I didn’t appreciate,’ Juliana told DailyMail.com. ‘He’d ask me how many men I’d had sex with and what I like in bed, things of that nature.’

Murdock is an uber-wealthy playboy, who's reportedly dated Avril Lavigne and Lana Del Ray. He's pictured in Lana Del Rey in 2012

Murdock is an uber-wealthy playboy, who’s reportedly dated Avril Lavigne and Lana Del Ray. He’s pictured in Lana Del Rey in 2012

Skye was previously rumored to be dating Justin Bieber, according posted a photo of himself in 2015 cozying up to the then-teenager, his hand holding her waist

Skye was previously rumored to be dating Justin Bieber, according posted a photo of himself in 2015 cozying up to the then-teenager, his hand holding her waist

Justin Murdock is a notorious playboy and has been seen getting cozy with Ashley Shelton

Justin Murdock is a notorious playboy and has been seen getting cozy with Jamie Lynn Sigler

Justin Murdock is a notorious playboy and has been seen getting cozy with Ashley Shelton (left) and Jamie Lynn Sigler (right) 

The Halloween party was held the night of October 29 at the mansion featured in the movie Scarface.

A source close to Skye told DailyMail.com that she wasn’t feeling well and wanted to leave while the party was still raging. They started arguing as soon as they got into the car, the source said.

Juliana said Skye texted her to pick her up at his house, where she’d left her car. 

Upon returning to his mansion, Murdock grew angrier when he saw Skye texting her friend, yelling and shoving her toward the door, a source said. 

Skye got into her car to wait for her friend. Murdock then stormed over to her and grabbed her keys and phone, the source alleged.

A short time later, Juliana arrived with another friend and drove her home. Skye reported the incident to police later that morning and went to the hospital the next day.

Reached by DailyMail.com, Skye declined to comment, fearing Murdock might follow through on a threat to sue her for defamation if she spoke out.

Her lawyer, Duncan Levin, also wouldn’t comment, other than to say, ‘My client is grateful to law enforcement authorities who are actively investigating this serious matter.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk