*The following article contains discussion of domestic violence.
The 38-year-old heir to one of America's largest sugar-producing companies was arrested for allegedly attacking his girlfriend after they were sat next to a gay couple at an upscale steakhouse in Palm Beach, Florida.
Alexander “Nico” Fanjul is the eldest son of sugar baron Alexander Fanjul Sr., whose sugar and real-estate conglomerate company Fanjul Corp. owns and operates subsidiaries like Domino Sugar, Florida Crystals, C&H Sugar, and Redpath Sugar.
Fanjul was booked on charges including domestic battery, robbery, false imprisonment, and cocaine possession after he allegedly strangled his girlfriend.
Police responded to a 911 caller who heard a neighbor screaming. According to a police report, authorities showed up at Fanjul's home at 11 p.m. and one of the officers heard a woman yelling, "Get off me," and saw Fanjul standing over the victim “in a defensive ‘fetal’ position.”
The report said there was bleeding from the woman's "facial area." The victim later told officers that Fanjul violently assaulted her and she “thought she was going to die.”
The unidentified woman said she and Fanjul had been dating for about a year and a half and that the two had gone out to Flagler Steakhouse at the Breakers Hotel earlier that evening.
The police affidavit read:
“While at dinner, Fanjul initially became irate because the two were seated next to a homosexual couple at the restaurant."
“Fanjul voiced his frustration to [the victim] at the restaurant, becoming increasingly irate.”
When Page Six reached out for a comment, Flagler restaurant stated:
“We have no record of an incident as you describe, and have no further information to share.”
The victim told officers that Fanjul continued venting “about his frustration with the restaurant” as they returned home from dinner.
They were standing in the front yard when she told him to drop the subject, which allegedly led to him punching her in the face "with a closed fist, causing bruising, bleeding, and swelling to her facial area."
She also 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.”
When she attempted to call 911 on her phone, the report said, “Fanjul grabbed her hand that held her cell phone and began to smash her hand and her phone into the ground causing it to shatter and break."
When the victim “began to scream for help” after losing her phone, Fanjul allegedly, “threw her to the ground and forcibly dragged her inside of the residence to prevent her from receiving aid or escaping.”
Once inside the home, the victim claimed Fanjul used both hands to strangle her.
An officer noted there was redness and bruising around the victim's neck and saw “trails of blood" from when she was dragged across the floor.
When police searched his body before taking Fanjul into custody, they retrieved an envelope from his wallet that contained a powdery substance believed to be cocaine.
Fanjul was released on $180,000 bail on Friday, according to the Palm Beach Post, which first reported the case.
The attorney who represented Fanjul during a hearing Tuesday at the Palm Beach County Jail said his client denied the charges.
Fanjul Corp. confirmed on Wednesday that Fanjul is not an employee of the company.
This was not the first time Fanjul was accused of domestic assault.
He and The Real Housewives of New York City star Tinsley Mortimer were in a tumultuous relationship, and she has accused Fanjul of domestic violence.
People magazine reported:
“In 2013, Mortimer was hospitalized for a head injury and two police reports from June 2014 revealed further altercations between the couple in which Fanjul allegedly smothered Mortimer with a pillow and pushed her head to the pavement, according to the police report.”
Fanjul's family denied the accusations.
The same year on Mortimer's birthday, police responded to a 911 call alleging domestic violence at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, but she did not press charges at the time.
In 2016, Mortimer was arrested for trespassing on Fanjul's property.
She told the Daily Mail in 2017:
“I think that what I’ve learned is that it is unfortunately easier to fall into a situation like that [domestic abuse] than you think."
“Once you’re caught up in that sort of cycle, it’s really hard to break out of it."
"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.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence or abuse, you can get help by contacting The National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling U.S. 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).