Architect David Adjaye accused of sexual assault

In an article published on July 4, the FinancialTimes reveals that three former employees of architect David Adjaye accuse him of sexual harassment and sexual assault, as well as toxic and abusive working conditions. THE FinancialTimes reports three incidents that occurred in 2018 and 2019. The three women, who chose to remain anonymous, “share several common characteristics”, explains the British newspaper. All three black, were single mothers, in their forties, at the time of the alleged facts, and they knew David Adjaye before being hired at Adjaye Associates.

Two of the women, referred to by the pseudonyms “ Maya and “Gene”, joined the architectural firm in 2018, to establish a new office in Accra, for which they moved to Ghana with their children. In September 2018, David Adjaye allegedly went to Ghana and dined with his two collaborators before going with them to his apartment, where he allegedly lured them into his room, trying to force them to have sex. Gene would have refused and left the room to wait by the door, while Maya would have stayed. She claims she was under the influence of alcohol and her memories are hazy, but she felt “dominated, both emotionally and physically”.

The next day, David Adjaye allegedly gave Maya a sum of cash, which she accepted due to her financial situation, and shared with Gene. A year later, Maya accuses him of assaulting her more violently in the toilets at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. David Adjaye has denied the charges, saying he asked Maya to go to the bathroom with him only to “to be able to transfer carpets in your luggage without the chaos of the check-in area crowd”.

Gene was fired four months after the incident in Ghana and received financial compensation of $40,000. Maya, meanwhile, was summarily dismissed eight months after the incident at the airport and was awarded $1,475 in compensation, after the Accra office deducted the money it had advanced to her. She also received a letter “demanding that she stop spreading rumors against David Adjaye”. Maya then filed a criminal complaint against David Adjaye in September 2021.

The third woman, nicknamed “Dunia”, claims to have been sexually assaulted in 2019, after having dinner with the architect. Despite this, Dunia continued to work with him, wishing to prove her “value as a professional”, but the following months would have been marked by abusive sexual encounters. Dunia sent a letter to David Adjaye in February 2022, accusing him “sexual misconduct”. The architect admitted to having a sexual relationship with her, but denies allegations that the relationship was abusive or coerced.

contacted by FinancialTimes before the publication of the article, David Adjaye, married since 2014, has “strongly denied” the accusations. They are “false, trying for me and my family, and goes against everything I stand for”he added.

Following these accusations published in the British daily, the New York Times revealed on July 5 that the architect had resigned from his post as architectural adviser to the Mayor of London, while his participation in the Holocaust memorial in the United Kingdom was suspended. He also resigned as a trustee of the Serpentine Galleries in London.

In a statement, the architect explained that he was resigning so that the allegations “don’t become a distraction”. “In order to focus on restoring trust and responsibility, I agreed to stand aside [des organisations où j’occupe un rôle personnel] with immediate effect “did he declare.

Currently, David Adjaye is the architect of the National Cathedral of Ghana, built in the capital, Accra, as well as the Edo Museum of West African Art, to be built in Benin City, Nigeria. The architect has gained international fame in recent years, notably thanks to the design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, inaugurated in Washington in 2016.

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