Renowned architect Sir David Adjaye, known for his notable work on the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., is facing serious allegations of gross misconduct. The accusations, including inappropriate behavior, unfair dismissals, and attempted rape, were made by two former employees of Adjaye Associates and were first reported by the Financial Times. The allegations have caused a stir in the architecture community.
In response to the claims, Sir David Adjaye, a Tanzanian-born British-Ghanaian citizen, has vehemently denied the allegations through his legal representatives, Farrer & Co. In two letters sent to the Financial Times prior to the publication of the allegations, his lawyers refuted the accusations of sexual misconduct, stating that they were inaccurate, defamatory, and could harm his reputation and business. The letters emphasized the need for strong evidence to support the serious allegations made against their client.
Sir Adjaye’s legal team challenged the credibility and motivations of the two accusers, identified as Lungi Morrison and Toni Smart, whose identities were concealed in the Financial Times’ report. They dismissed the allegations made by both individuals as false, serious, and defamatory. The lawyers provided alternative reasons for the termination of their employment, citing disclosure of sensitive company information and altercations with staff members.
Regarding a specific incident in Ghana, Sir Adjaye’s lawyers denied the claim made by Morrison that he behaved inappropriately in an apartment in Accra and that Smart confronted him about it. The legal team firmly stated that their client was never confronted by Smart on the alleged dates. They also highlighted a letter from Morrison, allegedly attempting extortion by demanding a significant sum of money, which further raised doubts about the credibility of the accusers.
Another accusation involved an incident in South Africa and an alleged attempted rape in a disabled bathroom at Johannesburg airport. Sir Adjaye’s lawyers refuted this claim, presenting conflicting accounts of the events and asserting the implausibility of the accusations in a busy airport setting. They vehemently denied that Sir Adjaye attempted to rape Morrison or engaged in any such behavior.
In their letters, the legal team acknowledged that Sir Adjaye had blurred personal and professional boundaries and had relationships with individuals subsequently employed by Adjaye Associates, which fell short of expected standards. However, they argued that these actions did not justify the publication of criminal allegations against their client.
The unfolding allegations have cast a shadow over Sir David Adjaye’s esteemed career. Despite maintaining his innocence, the severe allegations continue to impact his reputation. His legal team warned of the damaging nature of the allegations and reserved the right to rely on evidence contradicting the claims.
As the allegations reverberate through the architecture world and beyond, the true impact on Sir Adjaye’s career and reputation remains uncertain.