A South Beach Love Story

A playboy's steamy sexual liaison leads to a tangled investigation and a police feud

On the way to Pacheco's place in a black Mercedes Benz 500 SL, they stopped to buy a bottle of vodka.

Once inside the apartment, Nancy claims her companion spent two hours alternately raping her and ordering drinks as if she were a cocktail waitress. After demanding his first beverage, Zayden stretched out to take a nap. She laid down next to him and waited for him to doze. Instead Zayden ordered her to remove her top. She refused. He told her to make another drink, then grabbed her hair and started kissing her. Next he forced her to give him oral sex, then pushed her down and raped her vaginally. He stopped, mixed another drink, then compelled her to give him oral sex again. He raped her vaginally another time and made her say that she was a "whore." After she prepared a weak drink, he threw it against the wall and raped her again.

Eventually Zayden called Bobby Drummond, who Nancy described as the playboy's bodyguard. Drummond arrived at the apartment in the Rolls and they switched cars. Nancy stated she drove the Rolls to Zayden's while Drummond followed in the Mercedes. At his house Zayden told Nancy she was free to go after helping him upstairs. He allegedly broke the promise, though, after locking the bedroom door. Soon Drummond called from the first floor and told Nancy that Zayden's girlfriend Regina Ujhazi was on her way over. Without warning the playboy became enraged and yanked the phone from the wall.

Ultimately Drummond got word to Zayden of Ujhazi's imminent arrival. The so-called bodyguard ushered Nancy out the back door and into a waiting taxi. To Nancy's surprise cabbie Friedun Homayountash said he knew the playboy; he had driven him home from the Delano Hotel one night. Nancy then told Homayountash about the alleged rape. She returned to her apartment, then turned around and proceeded to the Miami Beach Police Department.

Nancy's gripping narrative was good enough for Turner. He sent her to the rape treatment center at Jackson Memorial Hospital for tests. A counselor described the shaken stewardess as expressing "feelings of disbelief and horror," and "fear and anxiousness." Both a police officer and a counselor noted she couldn't make eye contact with anyone.

Test results indicated she had sex recently, but there was no sign of force. What appeared at first to be a bruise on her breast turned out to be makeup. Turner wrote in his arrest affidavit that "forensic medical evidence [was] retrieved ... consistent with semen." Yet the hospital report specifically states no semen was recovered because the parties involved used a condom.

Next Turner and his partner Det. Milva Doyle sped to Zayden's Pine Tree Drive home. Zayden greeted the officers in his underwear, then invited them in and agreed to talk. Turner first interviewed Drummond. "He stated that he makes it a point to avoid getting involved in his employer's private relationships with the opposite sex," the detective later wrote. "He could not say whether [Nancy] was acting strangely or not."

Then Turner added: "I attempted to locate the witness 'Alex' and the maid... but they were not present and no information was developed that would allow us to locate them." Six hours after interviewing Nancy, Turner brought Zayden to the police station and charged him with kidnapping and sexual battery.

Zayden's lawyer Neil Taylor maintains Turner didn't look very hard for witnesses: Both Perez and the maid, Ligia Urieta, were in the house that morning. There were other important observers whom the detective failed to question; many of them contradicted Nancy.

At 5:30 a.m. the cops tossed Zayden into the county jail, where he spent twelve days. He was dressed in a shirt, pants, and velvet shoes designed by Gianni Versace. As all of Miami knows, Versace was killed on the steps of his Ocean Drive home in 1997 by Andrew Cunanan. Zayden says the designer's logo drew comments from the inmates. "They put me with the worst criminals. They saw Versace, the only thing they knew was Cunanan," Zayden recounts in his thick accent. "They love Cunanan in there!"

If Anwar Zayden didn't exist, Miami Beach would have to create him. He is a frenetic bon vivant who needs the glitter and excess of South Beach in the same way a narcissist needs a mirror. What you see with Zayden is pretty much what you get. He drinks too much (he denies using drugs), he is painfully vain, and he's preoccupied with physical beauty, fancy clothing, and expensive cars. He is also without irony. Interviewed in lawyer Neil Taylor's office, Zayden holds up a photograph of himself. He is bare-chested, tan, and has his arms around two svelte women. "Look at me. Do I look like I need help getting women?" he queries. He is fidgety and garrulous. The words pour from him in a frenzied rush. Although some might disapprove of his lifestyle and value system, he says he is not a rapist. "I know I've got a drinking problem. I'm a partier, a playboy, but none of this is a crime."

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