The 38-year-old heir to one of America’s largest sugar-producing companies was arrested last week for all*egedly beating his girlfriend in a fit of rage after alle*gedly becoming “irate” that they were seated next to a gay couple at a Florida steakhouse.
Alexander “Nico” Fanjul — whose family owns and operates subsidiary companies like Florida Crystals, Domino Sugar and American Sugar Refining — was taken into custody in Palm Beach on Jan. 28 after his girlfriend told authorities she thought she was going to die at his hands.
Police said they responded to his home around 11:30 p.m. after a neighbor reported hearing a woman screaming.
When cops arrived, they all*egedly heard a woman scream, “Get off of me,” according to a police report.
They found Fanjul “standing over a female subject” who was “on the floor in a defensive ‘fetal’ position and observed to be bleeding from the facial area.”
After separating Fanjul and the unidentified woman, she told police she had been dating Fanjul for about a year and a half, and the two had gone out to dinner at Flagler Steakhouse at the ritzy Breakers Hotel earlier that night.
“While at dinner, Fanjul initially became irate because the two were seated next to a homosexual couple at the restaurant,” according to the police affidavit.
“Fanjul voiced his frustration to [the victim] at the restaurant, becoming increasingly irate.”
The victim also al*legedly said Fanjul was still ranting and raving “about his frustration with the restaurant” by the time they got back to his home, and she told Fanjul to drop the subject.
“That is when Fanjul began to punch [the victim] in the face with a closed fist, causing bruising, bleeding, and swelling to her facial area,” the police affidavit says.
She also all*egedly said Fanjul “continually kneed her in the face causing her substantial pain, and that, while doing so, Fanjul forcibly removed [the victim’s] purse from her shoulder.”
As the victim took out her phone to call 911, she said, Fanjul grabbed her hand and smashed it and the phone on the ground, shattering the device.
Without her phone, the victim said, she “began to scream for help,” at which point Fanjul a*llegedly “threw her to the ground and forcibly dragged her inside of the residence to prevent her from receiving aid or escaping.”
Once inside, the victim said, Fanjul used both hands to choke her, and she started having extreme difficulty breathing.
Police noted in their report they observed marks around the victim’s neck and a trail of blood on the floor.
When they searched Fanjul to take him into custody that night, police said, they also found an envelope in his wallet containing a powdery substance that they believe to be cocaine.
Fanjul is charged with felony domestic battery for strangulation, false imprisonment, robbery, tampering with or harassing the victim, criminal mischief, and possession of cocaine.
He was released Friday on $180,000 bail, and his lawyer said he denies the charges against him.
This is not the first time Fanjul has been accused of domestic assault.
In 2013, “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Tinsley Mortimer was hospitalized for a head injury while publicly dating Fanjul.
Two police reports from 2014 also revealed Fanjul al*legedly smothered Mortimer with a pillow and pushed her head into the pavement, charges that Fanjul’s wealthy family denied at the time.
Police were also called for domestic violence at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Mortimer’s birthday in 2014, but she did not press charges.
Speaking of the tumultuous time, Mortimer said she “learned” it is “unfortunately easier to fall into a situation like [domestic abuse] than you think.”
“Once you’re caught up in that sort of cycle, it’s really hard to break out of it,” she said.
“I definitely was not myself during that time and it wasn’t until the arrest that I was able to break free from it — the cycle was broken, thank God.”
She also told People of their two-year relationship, “I had moments of feeling like I wasn’t going to make it. I was going to be one of those tragic stories you see on TV.”
Fanjul did not comment to People at the time.