The Rich

Sex and the Setai: Scandal Leaves Manager's Ex-Lover Banned From $15,000-a-Month Unit

After a scandalous sexual tryst with the Setai's general manager, a tenant is banned from her $15,000-a-month rental unit.
After a scandalous sexual tryst with the Setai's general manager, a tenant is banned from her $15,000-a-month rental unit. Photo by Chris Gordon/Getty Images

A case of double infidelity. A sexual tryst involving a hotel guest, a manager, and a dominatrix. A series of expensive lawsuits and restraining orders that have left a moneyed woman banned from her home in Miami amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At the center of a legal and sexual scandal that only South Florida could foster is the posh, historic Setai Hotel in Miami Beach, which recently ranked eighth among the top 15 resort hotels in the continental U.S.


Last month, The Real Deal reported on the ongoing legal battle between the management of the Setai and guest-turned-tenant Sarah Lazow, a film producer from California who came to stay in Miami last fall and promptly engaged in an illicit affair with Setai general manager Alex Furrer.

After the affair came to an end in January, Lazow disputed charges of about $27,000 for taxes and fees she alleges Furrer had promised to waive. Then, also in January, the hotel sued Lazow in Miami-Dade civil court for failure to pay the $100,000-plus tab for her three-month stay. Since then, a whopping five more lawsuits have been filed among Sarah Lazow; Alex Furrer; Furrer's girlfriend, Handy Nicole Castillo; and Setai Hotel Acquisitions LLC, an entity that operates the hotel and is owned by the Nakash family of Jordache Jeans.



The ongoing litigation doesn't seem to have deterred Lazow from living in the luxury hotel and condo. In February, Lazow went from hotel guest to tenant when she began leasing a privately owned residence at the Setai for $15,000 a month.




On August 3, Furrer filed a "repeat violence" case against Lazow and secured a temporary restraining order banning her from his place of employment (which also happens to be where she lives). She cannot set foot on the property until an October 1 hearing, at which point a judge will decide whether to make the restraining order permanent.


In response to questions from New Times, Lazow declined to comment and pointed to the publicly accessible court docket. Her attorney confirmed that paid the outstanding $100,000 bill, and is still paying her sizable lease payments at the Setai despite being forbidden to live there.




"Sarah Lazow is not living at the Setai, because of Alex Furrer's temporary injunction that is in effect until the final hearing," the attorney, Raymond Rafool, tells New Times via email. "Sarah continues to be obligated for her lease of a residence at the Setai, and is paying $15,000 a month without being able to use it."



Attorneys for the Setai declined to comment on pending litigation when reached by New Times over the phone last week. Salem Mounayyer, the representative for the Setai's ownership, did not respond to New Times' request for comment via email. Reached by New Times over the phone last week, Furrer declined to comment on the lawsuits and his relationship with Lazow.



Lazow filed two civil lawsuits: a "repeat violence" case against Castillo, Furrer's girlfriend, in March of this year; and a defamation case against Furrer in August, for deeming Lazow a "predator" and a "drug addict."

In the former, filed on March 2, Furrer stated in a deposition that he and Lazow engaged in a sexual relationship beginning on election night in 2020. According to Lazow's complaint, Furrer and Lazow sent explicit messages to one another and the manager visited Lazow in her room multiple times for afternoon rendezvouses while he was on the job.

In the second case, filed on August 8, Lazow revealed intimate details of her sexual relationship with Furrer, who was married and also involved in a romantic relationship with Castillo, his girlfriend of several years. (Furrer filed for divorce in August of 2020, according to court records.)



The Real Deal reported on the dalliance in part, mentioning Lazow and Furrer's sexual encounters on hotel property, and that a dominatrix had been hired to join them in Lazow's hotel room during working hours. But the most scintillating details from the court docket were left out. Text logs and photos among the documents include messages from Furrer to Lazow sent on his work phone, such as one in which the Swiss manager claimed to be "Italian from the belt down."



On December 3, 2020, at around 2:30 p.m., Furrer texted Lazow that he had masturbated in a hotel restroom in preparation for a rendezvous with her in her hotel room. An hour later, he texted her, "Daddy is coming up," before complaining about his bosses, writing "fucking owners call me 100 x a day." In one text exchange on Whatsapp, Furrer repeatedly referred to Lazow as "madame," and sent two lengths of rope up to her room at her request.

In a photo taken by the dominatrix in December of 2020, the general manager can be seen naked, spanking a prostrate Lazow with what appears to be a leather paddle. On a coffee table next to Furrer are ropes, spilled ice cubes, a towel, and black leather straps of varying sizes. (The photo was included in an August 12 court petition by Castillo, Furrer's girlfriend, to obtain a restraining order against Lazow.)

Quibbles about decorum aside, Furrer's actions appear to fly in the face of the rules in Setai's employee handbook, which is handed out to new employees and signed by Furrer himself.

The handbook, a copy of which was obtained by New Times, includes a list of behaviors and actions that may result in disciplinary action and termination, including "unauthorized fraternization with guests," "unauthorized presence at guest/resident functions," or "in guest/resident areas," and "dishonest, immoral, or indecent behavior or behavior that publicly embarrasses the Setai."

Yet in Lazow's March lawsuit against Furrer's girlfriend, Furrer stated in the deposition that the dominatrix used the ropes to tie him up, and that pictures were taken of him without his knowledge or consent. In the same deposition, Furrer said he was never reprimanded for his relationship with Lazow, and when asked why he allowed Lazow and a dominatrix to engage in a sexual tryst with him in her hotel room, he said he was doing so because Lazow had not paid her hotel bill, and she had threatened that she would not discuss her bill unless they continued their relationship.

"I agree, my role as a general manager was very difficult at that time," Furrer told deposing attorneys.


According to the multiple lawsuits and a Miami Beach police report, Furrer and Lazow's relationship came to an abrupt end on January 8, 2021, when Castillo, who suspected the affair, allegedly assaulted Lazow by throwing a drink at her in one of the Setai's restaurants.

In his deposition from Lazow's March lawsuit against his girlfriend, Furrer claimed Castillo accidentally tripped and spilled the drink on Lazow. That deposition also mentions a text allegedly sent from Lazow to Castillo after the incident that reads, "Spill a drink on me like that again, I promise you will regret it. Lovely to see you. Oh, by the way, I did fuck your boyfriend. It wasn't great. Have a good night."

In her August 8 defamation case against Furrer, Lazow states for months before the injunction banned her from the Setai, she was denied service at the hotel's restaurants, spas, and other amenities. She also complains that the hotel hired private security to follow within feet of her when she walked on the property's common areas.


On March 1, the hotel filed a lawsuit seeking declaratory relief to determine if the Setai can legally ban Lazow (a tenant) from its pool and other services. The case is still ongoing.


In April, hotel management called Miami Beach police on Lazow four times, claiming she was causing disturbances in hotel restaurants and public areas.

Late that same month, Lazow called the Miami Beach police, telling officers she felt unsafe with hotel security following her so closely. Salem Mounayyer, the Setai's ownership representative, told police at the time that Lazow was a threat to hotel property and employees.

Miami Beach police took no action in any of the instances.
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Joshua Ceballos is staff writer for Miami New Times. He is a Florida International University alum and a born-and-bred Miami boy.
Contact: Joshua Ceballos