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David Adjaye fights off sexual abuse allegations

Shocking allegations of sexual misconduct by three women against Sir David Adjaye, one of the most renowned architects from Africa, have surfaced today, prompting shock among professionals and admirers. However, two reliable sources have shared evidence with Asaase News showing that the abuse claims are rooted in a long-standing plan to extort money from Adjaye.

The allegations, published in an article by the London Financial Times, involve three unnamed female employees.

Two of them were recruited as staff members of Adjaye & Associates in Accra as the firm was establishing its offices in Ghana, while the third served as a short-term communications advisor at the company’s London office.

The alleged incidents of abuse reportedly took place between 2018 and 2019, depicting Adjaye as a predator who misused his position within the firm to coerce the women into engaging in sexual acts.

Adjaye acknowledges that he had intimate relationships with all three women prior to employing them. In the case of the third woman, the relationship continued sporadically after her employment.

While Adjaye admits that this was inappropriate and resulted in a blurring of personal and professional boundaries, he vehemently denies any abusive or controlling behaviour towards any of the three women.

In response, Adjaye’s lawyers strongly deny the allegations of serious sexual misconduct made by the three former female employees, asserting that their client is the victim of an elaborate and shocking scheme to extort money from him.

Asaase News has conducted inquiries and made findings that support this claim, suggesting a deliberate effort to tarnish Adjaye’s reputation if he refused to comply with the extortion demands.

Adjaye’s lawyers intend to rely on this evidence as they explore all options to clear their client’s name.


To protect their privacy, the identities of the three women involved, known to Asaase, have been kept confidential. The women told FT reporters that Adjaye subjected them to various inappropriate behaviours, including sexual assault and attempted rape.

According to Asaase News’s sources, the two women employed by Adjaye & Associates in Ghana connect the alleged abuses to their arrival in Accra to assist in establishing the firm in 2018.

They claim to have been underpaid for their duties, suffered a toxic work environment and faced delays in receiving their salaries, leaving them vulnerable and exposed. They imply that Adjaye took advantage of them, allegedly propositioning both women during his visit to Accra in September 2018.

One of the women states that Adjaye forced her into a compromising situation that left her traumatised and with fragmented memories of the events. She also claims that Adjaye assaulted her at O R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg in 2019.


Asaase News’s sources report that both women were dismissed by the company following complaints from colleagues. One was terminated in early 2019, and the other in January 2020.

The sources say that apart from strained work relationships, it became evident that the women were unable to fulfil the high-level administrative services they were recruited for in setting up the practice in Accra. Although their positions were well paid, there were delays in settling their salaries due to cash-flow issues within the company. Similarly, loans to cover accommodation were also delayed.

All three women assert that the alleged assaults, poor work conditions, and manner of their dismissal left them emotionally shattered and destroyed their self-confidence. However, the first two sources have shared evidence with Asaase News, showing relaxed and cordial communication between Sir David and the two women hired by Adjaye & Associates in Accra, even after the alleged incidents of abuse.

These communications indicate no ill-feelings, emotional distress or psychological crisis, as claimed in the allegations of abuse.

One of our sources has seen a later personal message to Adjaye in which one of the women demands a payment of $120,000, threatening to make allegations of sexual abuse public if not complied with.

The third woman mentioned in today’s reports raises allegations related to events in London in February 2019. She had a short-term contract to provide consultancy services for communications strategy and online security.

According to a third source, David Adjaye admits to having had intimate relationships with all three women before employing them. Regarding the third woman, he acknowledges that the relationship continued sporadically after her employment. He accepts that this was inappropriate and led to a blurring of personal and professional boundaries, falling short of good governance, best professional practice and his own standards. However, he strongly denies any abusive or controlling behaviour in his relationships with her.

Adjaye affirms that his interactions with all three women, who have accused him, were brief and consensual, and had no influence on their work relationship. He categorically denies all allegations of sexual assault, abusive employment practices and abuse of authority.

Glittering career

David Adjaye, 56, has won numerous accolades for his work across four continents and is highly sought after in international architectural circles.

With company offices in Accra, London and New York, his portfolio includes private residences for high-profile artists as well as major public structures such as the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in north London and the Sugar Hill project in Harlem.

Among other Adjaye projects are the Aïshti Foundation in Beirut, the Gwanju River Reading Room in South Korea and the Hugh Masakela Memorial Pavilion in Johannesburg.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which opened on the National Mall in Washington, DC in 2016, is his largest project to date. The launch of the museum was described by the New York Times as the cultural event of the year.

After reopening in March last year, following prolonged closure at the peak of the COVID pandemic, the museum attracted an estimated 1.2 million visitors.


SOURCE: Asaase News

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