Celebrated architect with NJ roots accused of sexual misconduct by 5 women

Top architect Richard Meier steps down after sex harassment claims

The renowned American architect is accused by five women, for a conduct that prefaced for four decades, including touches and exhibitionism.

Two of the women who worked for him said Meier exposed himself to them when they were sent to his NY apartment.

The Times confronted Meier about the allegations and he announced he would step away from his firm for six months.

"Under the circumstances, and in consultation with the Meier family, the decision has been made to close our exhibition early", the auction house said in a statement.

Meier won the coveted Pritzker Prize in 1984 and was awarded a gold medal in architecture from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 2008.

"Although he has apologized, the reported behavior is unacceptable", Mr. Kleinman said in a statement.

"We will swiftly explore what additional actions are appropriate" regarding previous gifts, Kleinman said.

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Meier is 83 years old.

Yet another allegation came from a fifth woman, who did not work for the firm, who described to The Times an incident with Meier in Los Angeles in the 1980s, "when she said she had to flee his home after he forcefully pulled her onto a bed".

The Times reported four of the incidents occurred over the past 10 years and involved his employees. She told the Times that the architect invited her to his apartment to celebrate her new job, then "offered her a glass of wine, showed her photographs of naked women he had taken and then asked her to undress".

"I am deeply disturbed to learn of the allegations of sexual misconduct by Richard Meier", said Kleinman, whose full title is Gale and Ira Drukier dean of architecture, art and planning. The statement contained an apology from Meier "to anyone who was offended by my behaviour". She pushed him away and ran to her vehicle. Meier later exposed himself to Lee at his apartment, she said; at a holiday party, he placed his hand on Monk's back and "played with her ... underwear through her dress", she told the Times. Both Stella Lee, who started working for Meier in 2000, and Judi Shade Monk, who began in 2003, told the Times they had been warned about his behavior. When she tried to leave, following the non consensual kiss, he dragged her by her arm toward his bedroom, she told The Times.

Carol Vena-Mondt, a furniture designer who did not work for Meier, said the architect invited her to a dinner party while he was staying in LA in the 1980s, but when she showed up, it was just the two of them.

Other famous Meier designs include the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and The Hague City Hall. Vivian Lee, Reynolds Logan, Dukho Yeon and Bernhard HARPF will be in front of day-to-day office in NY, while Michael Palladino will be in charge of Los Angeles office and oversee ongoing projects.

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