The allegations came as a shock to people who knew Philbrick. He grew up in an artistic family. His father, Harry Philbrick, was a director of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and his mother, Jane Philbrick, is an artist. His parents, who are no longer together, declined to comment. Harry Philbrick said in an email that he’s been estranged from his son for almost a decade.

A classmate at Joel Barlow High School in Redding, Connecticut, from which Philbrick graduated with honors in 2005, remembers him as quiet and artsy. Francisca Mancini — the mother of his young child and his classmate at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he received an MFA in 2012 — said they haven’t been together “in years” and declined to comment.

In 2010, he joined the prestigious White Cube gallery in London as an intern and quickly won the confidence of its owner, Jay Jopling.

“He struck me as a smart, ambitious young man with a good eye for art and an impressive commercial sense,” Jopling said in an email. “He progressed quickly” and in 2012 launched Jopling’s secondary-market business. When a year later Philbrick decided to open his own gallery, Jopling said he “agreed to support him financially.”

Now, like the others, Jopling is in the middle of legal proceedings against his former protege.

Karen Boyer, an art adviser who moved to Miami from New York, said she was excited to hear that Philbrick opened a secondary-market space in the Design District last year.

“There was finally a gallery here selling more-established artists,” she said. “It’s disappointing that it turned out not to be true. Brings to mind an old saying about Miami: ‘It’s a sunny place for shady people.’”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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