He was acclaimed as Britain’s number one art dealer by the time he was 40, with his London gallery reportedly raking in £350 million a year in sales.
Now Harry Blain, friends of Brit Art icons such as shark-pickler Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, finds his lustrous image in danger of being tarnished following an undignified and bitter dispute with two former business partners who have initiated legal proceedings against him.
Accusing the twice-married Blain, now 50, of dishonesty, financiers Chris Boas and James Graham-Maw are demanding repayment of £500,000, after each investing £250,000 in 2012 in one of Blain’s ventures, Sedition.
The company allows customers to buy online images from the likes of Emin and Hirst for anything from £5 to £1,500.
Harry Blain is pictured with artist Tracey Emin at a ball in March 2011
Blain, pictured left, is friends of numerous Brit Art icons – including Mat Collishaw, pictured right
Stephen Webster, Mat Collishaw, Harry Blain and Assia Webster (left to right) at a private viewing in April this year
Boas and Graham-Maw say only £725,000 worth of subscription shares in Sedition were issued — rather than £1 million, as they had been assured would be the case — and that, as a result, their money should have been returned to them.
They claim Blain used the money ‘for purposes unknown’, causing Sedition to breach agreements, and also allege he transferred shares to another company, Markway Ltd, in an act of deliberate deception.
Blain, who lives with his second wife, Norwegian model Bodil Bjerkvik, in an £8 million house in Notting Hill, has responded arguing that any agreements with Boas and Graham-Maw were ‘informal’, arising from the fact that the three of them were friends.
He says the full £1million of shares were issued — but not until June 2014, because of ‘an oversight’.
Let’s hope that Boas and Graham-Maw – both also residents of Notting Hill – now consider themselves to be fully in the picture.
Trevor Eve’s latest is truly a family affair
Acting dynasty: Trevor, Alice, wife Sharon and Jack
Silver fox Trevor Eve, star of the BBC’s crime drama Waking The Dead, was a proud father twice over at the Raindance film festival in London.
He and his wife, Gold Blend TV ad star Sharon Maughan, were attending the premiere of Bees Make Honey, which is written and directed by their eldest son Jack, 31, and co-stars their daughter, Star Trek actress Alice, 35.
The film is about a widow hosting a gathering for her high-society friends in an attempt to help solve her husband’s murder.
Trevor, 66, clearly couldn’t resist stepping into the limelight as he also has a turn in the film.
The former Shoestring star’s youngest son George, 22, was the music co-ordinator.
That’s what you call keeping it in the family.
Why Rees-Mogg won’t strip off
Excitement about Jacob Rees-Mogg’s leadership hopes has perhaps gone too far.
Dashing fellow backbench Tory MP Johnny Mercer, who once posed naked in the shower for a Dove television advertisement, has encouraged the Moggster to strip off.
Rees-Mogg, who is said to sleep in double-breasted pyjamas, solemnly declares: ‘I will not be taking his advice to follow in his footsteps by advertising soap products.’