NYC friends of art dealer murdered in Brazil shocked by his secret 'lifestyle' as details emerge of his bitter divorce battle with former escort husband - who demanded $6 MILLION to let him see his son again

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The friends of a renowned New York City art dealer who was brutally murdered in Brazil have expressed their shock as details of his turbulent lifestyle emerged.

Brent Sikkema, 75, was found stabbed to death in his Rio de Janeiro home on January 15. His Cuban former bodyguard Alejandro Triana Prevez, 30, has been accused of his murder.

It has since emerged that Sikkema, the owner Sikkema Jenkins & Co in Chelsea, was going though a bitter divorce battle with his Cuban husband Daniel Garcia Carrera, a 53-year-old former escort with whom he shared a son. 

The battle was ongoing since March 2022, and Garcia Carrera had reportedly been demanding $6 million to let Sikkema see their son. Sikkema was said to be 'panicked' that Garcia would not accept an amicable settlement, per Brazilian authorities.

Garcia reportedly took out a court order that stopped him seeing their 14-year-old son - and Brent spent one night in a New York City jail after he disobeyed the order, as reported by Folha de São Paulo.

Brent Sikkema, 75, was found stabbed to death in his Rio de Janeiro home on January 15

Brent Sikkema, 75, was found stabbed to death in his Rio de Janeiro home on January 15

Brent Sikkema, 75, was found stabbed to death in his Rio de Janeiro home on January 15

The art dealer's Cuban bodyguard Alejandro Triana Prevez, 30, is accused of his murder

The art dealer's Cuban bodyguard Alejandro Triana Prevez, 30, is accused of his murder

The owner Sikkema Jenkins & Co in Chelsea, was going though a bitter divorce battle with his Cuban husband Daniel Garcia Carrera, a 53-year-old former escort with whom he shared a son

The owner Sikkema Jenkins & Co in Chelsea, was going though a bitter divorce battle with his Cuban husband Daniel Garcia Carrera, a 53-year-old former escort with whom he shared a son 

Sikkema and Garcia married shortly before the birth of their son by surrogate, but it's not clear when their relationship started

Sikkema and Garcia married shortly before the birth of their son by surrogate, but it's not clear when their relationship started 

But longtime friends and clients of Sikkema have told the New York Post they had no idea about the art dealer's turbulent personal life, and that he never spoke about his husband of over a decade.

'He was a kind soul, but I had no idea about his lifestyle,' a longtime client told the outlet.

Police have not suggested Garcia is involved in Sikkema's murder. However they have previously said they want to learn more about Triana's relationship with Garcia. Triana worked as a bodyguard for the couple during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sikkema and Garcia married shortly before the birth of their son by surrogate, but it's not clear when their relationship started.

Garcia published a memoir in 2006 titled 'Ticket to Paradise: The Cuban Revolution is the Story of Broken Dreams, Losses, Misery, Terror and Lies.' 

In the book, Garcia admits to having worked as a male prostitute in Cuba and Spain, saying he took up the profession to escape Castro's communism. He left the island in 1997.

DailyMail.com was able to obtain surveillance camera videos from Gabriel Security Company that showed Triana allegedly surveying Sikkema's residence the day before the murder.

Authorities said Triana spent 14 hours surveilling the home before he entered and stabbed Sikkema 18 times in the neck and face as he laid in his bed. The alleged killer may have used scissors, a box cutter or a screwdriver for the horrific attack, Art Forum reported.

Brazilian cops also said Triana stole $30,000 as well as 30,000 Brazilian reals ($6,078) and a gold chain from Sikkema's home. 

The suspect was arrested on Thursday after he was found sleeping in a car at a gas station in Ureaba, Minas Gerais, 615 miles from the killing site of Jardim Botânico. 

New York City prominent art gallery owner Brent Sikkema with former First Lady Michelle Obama

New York City prominent art gallery owner Brent Sikkema with former First Lady Michelle Obama

Triana’s lawyer Gregorio Andrade said the suspect has 'more information that we can’t publicly reveal yet.'

Andrade told The Post: 'The story of what really happen is much more shocking.'

Sikkema had reportedly recently purchased a second home in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Leblon and kept the money at his residence to purchase new furniture. 

The prominent art gallery owner was the director of exhibitions at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester in 1971.

He later served as the director of Vision Gallery in Boston from 1976 to 1980 and was its owner from 1980 to 1989.

Sikkema, who often rubbed shoulders with the likes of Michelle Obama, founded his New York City art gallery in 1991 as Wooster Gardens in Soho. In 1999, the art gallery was moved to its current location in Chelsea.

He had traveled to Rio de Janeiro in December for the holidays and was expected to return to New York the day after his murder. 

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