British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by three former staff, with one making a felony criticism towards him.
The allegations, which have been detailed in an investigation by British newspaper the Monetary Instances (FT), come from three ladies who labored for Adjaye in 2018 and 2019.
In accordance with the ladies, whose names had been modified by the FT, coping with Adjaye has brought on them critical psychological misery and monetary difficulties and disrupted their careers.
Adjaye “strongly denies making any sexual advances”
Two of the ladies, who the FT calls Gene and Maya, met Adjaye in September 2018 in Accra, the place that they had moved to arrange the Ghana workplace for Adjaye’s studio, Adjaye Associates.
They allege that after a dinner, at which that they had hoped to talk to Adjaye about issues in reference to the Accra workplace, they went to Adjaye’s company condominium the place he sexually harassed and assaulted them.
The incident was denied by Adjaye’s lawyer, who informed the FT that whereas the dinner passed off and the three went to Adjaye’s condominium after it for a drink, he “strongly denies making any sexual advances in direction of” them and “categorically denies forcing [Maya] to enter his bed room and sexually assaulting her”.
The lawyer additionally denied allegations by Maya that Adjaye requested to satisfy her the day after the alleged incident and took out cash to provide to her.
Maya, who determined to remain on the firm, additionally alleges one other incident of sexual misconduct passed off in mid-2019 in an airport lavatory. Adjaye has denied that he engaged “in sexual exercise along with her throughout this encounter”.
Maya was reportedly dismissed with out discover in January 2020 and made a felony criticism towards Adjaye to the police in South Africa, the place the alleged lavatory incident had taken place.
Gene was additionally reportedly dismissed from her job at Adjaye Associates and reached a monetary settlement of $40,000 with the studio.
Third lady alleges “controlling and emotionally abusive sexual encounters”
The third lady, whom FT calls Dunia, met Adjaye in 2019 and alleges that he sexually harassed her the identical 12 months.
In accordance with Dunia, she started working for him informally after the alleged incident and stated she “endured a sequence of controlling and emotionally abusive sexual encounters with him”.
She stopped working for Adjaye in 2020 and despatched the studio a authorized letter in 2022 that accused him of sexual misconduct. Dunia, Gene and Maya at the moment are represented by “an organisation that specialises in human rights and whistleblowing”, the FT stated.
Adjaye’s lawyer claimed that every of the ladies had “their very own grievances” towards the architect.
In a response to the FT, Adjaye stated: “I completely reject any claims of sexual misconduct, abuse or felony wrongdoing. These allegations are unfaithful, distressing for me and my household and run counter to all the things I stand for.”
“I’m ashamed to say that I entered into relationships which although totally consensual, blurred the boundaries between my skilled and private lives,” he added.
“I’m deeply sorry. To revive belief and accountability, I can be instantly looking for skilled assist with a purpose to study from these errors to make sure that they by no means occur once more.”
Former worker claims Ghana workplace working hours had been “poisonous”
In addition to the allegations of sexual misconduct, the FT investigation additionally discovered that former Adjaye staff felt the office in each London and Accra was “disorganised and frantic”, in response to 13 folks the newspaper spoke to.
One lady stated the Accra workplace had “poisonous” working hours, whereas one other claimed Adjaye informed her to flirt with shoppers if wanted to get one thing.
In accordance with the FT, the three ladies accusing Adjaye of sexual misconduct got here ahead “to forestall different ladies from encountering comparable abuse and to make public the architect’s personal behaviour”.
The newspaper stated it had corroborated their accounts by contemporaneous emails, textual content messages and paperwork and interviewing colleagues, family and friends members whom they confided in.
Adjaye is without doubt one of the most distinguished architects presently working in Britain and was awarded the celebrated RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 2021 at a ceremony that featured a speech from former US president Barack Obama.
He acquired a knighthood for his companies to structure in 2017 and have become the fifth architect to be appointed to Britain’s Order of Advantage.
Dezeen has reached out to Adjaye Associates for remark.