Home Arts Star architect David Adjaye ‘steps back’ from major roles amid sexual misconduct allegations

Star architect David Adjaye ‘steps back’ from major roles amid sexual misconduct allegations

by godlove4241
0 comment

Three former employees of Sir David Adjaye have accused the famous architect of sexual misconduct, emotional abuse and harmful employment practices, Financial Times (FT) reports.

Although he denies the allegations made against him, Adjaye announced on Tuesday that he would step down from a number of major roles and guardianships. This includes his work as an architectural adviser to Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London. His work on a new UK Holocaust memorial has also been put on hold, the New York Times reported.

In a press release delivered to Architects Journala spokesperson for Adjaye said the architect was stepping back from his more public work so the allegations against him “do not become a distraction”.

According to the FT article, the women, who worked for Adjaye between 2018 and 2019, “felt compelled to share their experiences in order to prevent other women from experiencing similar abuse and to publicize the behavior. deprived of the architect”.

The Anglo-Ghanaian architect denied each of the allegations, saying, through his lawyer, that the women had “their own grievances” against him. Adjaye said in a statement to the FT: “I absolutely reject any allegations of sexual misconduct, abuse or foul play. These allegations are false, upsetting to me and my family and go against everything I defend.

However, Adjaye acknowledged that he had started relationships with his employees. “I am ashamed to say that I have formed relationships that, while entirely consensual, have blurred the lines between my professional and personal life,” he said in the statement. “I am deeply sorry. To restore trust and accountability, I will immediately seek professional help to learn from these mistakes to ensure they never happen again.

Adjaye’s firm, Adjaye Associates, has designed – or is in the process of designing – a multitude of art galleries, museums and major international heritage sites. They include the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, both in the United States. His company is also working on Britain’s new Holocaust memorial, which is set to be located next to Britain’s Houses of Parliament. Additionally, Adjaye Associates is building the National Cathedral of Ghana in the country’s capital, Accra, as well as the Edo Museum of West African Art, to be built in Benin City, Nigeria. Adjaye was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017 and has been a trustee of the Serpentine Gallery in London since December 2016.

The FT investigation details how Adjaye allegedly engaged in behavior ranging from unwanted and aggressive sexual advances to sexual harassment and sexual assault towards the three women, who were not named by the FT; their names are instead given as Gene, Maya, and Dunia. The women are all black, in their 40s and single mothers, and had social ties to Adjaye beyond the workplace, according to the publication. Each said their financial security, mental health and career progression had been seriously affected by Adjaye’s behavior towards them.

The report revolves around three incidents, the first of which dates back to September 2018, and allegedly took place in the bedroom of the corporate apartment used by Adjaye in Accra, Ghana. After a professionally hosted dinner party, Adjaye invited the two women named Maya and Gene back to the apartment before making unwanted sexual advances to each of them. Adjaye’s lawyer claims that the architect “strongly denies having made sexual advances to them” and “categorically denies having forced [Maya] to come into her room and sexually assault her,” he told the FT. He also cited “extremely cordial” text messages over the following weeks and months between Adjaye, Maya and Gene, which he said were “evidence of the positive relationship between the two employees and their boss”.

The article also details how, in mid-2019, in a disabled toilet at a South African airport, Adjaye again attempted to sexually assault Maya. Maya attempted to report Adjaye to police in Ghana without success as “they did not have jurisdiction over a criminal allegation in another country”, and in South Africa in September 2021. The South African police authority acknowledged the Maya’s complaint to the FT.

Adjaye’s lawyer told the FT that the architect had “not engaged in sexual activity with her during this encounter” and denies the allegation “in the strongest terms possible”. His lawyer added that “this allegation was made much after the fact in an effort to obtain payment”.

Both women were later fired by Adjaye; Gene was ousted at the end of 2019, four months after the apartment incident. In January 2020, eight months after the bathroom incident, Maya was also summarily fired. Adjaye’s lawyer told the FT they were fired “due to concerns about their conduct and abilities, which were raised by other employees”.

The article also details how, in a separate incident at the Royal Academy in London in January 2019, Adjaye forcefully made a sexual advance on another woman, named Dunia, who later became his employee. Adjaye then allegedly engaged in a campaign of coercive control against Dunia once he was her employer, according to the article. The FT article states: “Over the following months [after the Royal Academy incident]she said she endured a series of controlling and emotionally abusive sexual encounters with him.

The FT report also says Adjaye made remarks about Dunia’s skin tone as a way of undermining her, telling the newspaper he told her she wasn’t ‘black enough’ to understand his practice. He touched her hair to make sure it was real and she wasn’t wearing extensions. “He described black women as ‘low hanging fruit,’ meaning they were ‘easy, cheap – like we were waiting to be picked,'” Dunia said in the post.

Dunia claims to have sent a legal letter to Adjaye’s firm in February 2022 accusing him of sexual misconduct, which was rebutted on the grounds that the relationship was consensual. Adjaye’s lawyer told the FT that Adjaye kissed Dunia at the Royal Academy but ‘categorically denies’ that his version of events is correct or that he ‘showed abusive and controlling behavior towards [her]”.

The FT sought to corroborate each of the women’s accounts by acquiring emails, text messages and other contemporaneous documents, as well as interviewing 13 former Adjaye employees. Interviews were also conducted with friends and family members who were used as confidants at the time of the alleged incidents.

Josh Spero, the co-author of the FT article, recounts The arts journal“We worked on this story for a year. It was a long process. But that’s not the end of the story for us. We continue to talk to people, and we’re always interested in hearing from anyone else who might have a relevant story to tell us.

David Adjaye did not respond to a request for comment from The arts journal.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

@2022 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by artworlddaily