RIBA Gold Medal-winning architect seeking “immediate professional help” after admitting relationships with employees

David Adjaye has said he is “deeply sorry” to have entered relationships with three women who worked for him in London and Accra but rejected claims of alleged sexual misconduct.

The 2021 RIBA Gold Medal-winning architect said he was “ashamed” to have entered relationships with the women and was seeking immediate professional help in order to “learn from these mistakes”.

A report in the Financial Times today detailed a series of claims by the three women of sexual assault and sexual harrassment by Adjaye, which they say disrupted their careers and left them in a precarious financial position.

David Adjaye receives the RIBA Royal Gold Medal 2

Source: Francis Kokoroko

David Adjaye receiving the 2021 RIBA Royal Gold Medal

The allegations include an alleged assault in a disabled toilet in an airport in Johannesburg and an incident in London’s Royal Academy of Arts.

A statement to the Financial Times by a lawyer on behalf of Adjaye said: “I absolutely reject any claims of sexual misconduct, abuse or criminal wrongdoing. These allegations are untrue, distressing for me and my family and run counter to everything I stand for.”

He added: “I am ashamed to say that I entered into relationships which though entirely consensual, blurred the boundaries between my professional and personal lives. I am deeply sorry. To restore trust and accountability, I will be immediately seeking professional help in order to learn from these mistakes to ensure that they never happen again.”

The report claims two women who worked for Adjaye in the architect’s Accra office were dismissed after being “coerced” into engaging in sexual activity with him, an allegation which Adjaye strongly denies.

It also alleges controlling behaviour by Adjaye towards an employee in London, which the Financial Times claims included instructions on what to wear and disparaging comments towards dark-skinned black women.

Adjaye’s lawyer said he had kissed the woman at the Royal Academy but “categorically denies” her version of events and claims that he “exhibited abusive and controlling behaviour towards her” and said communications from the time show their interactions were consensual.

The lawyer also said Adjaye “rejects entirely” the claims about his attitudes towards black women and the suggestion that his behaviour was “belittling”.

Adjaye Associates has been contacted for comment.