The Iraqi born British architect Zaha Hadid has filed a lawsuit for defamation against the New York Review of Books. She is also suing the architecture critic Martin Filler for a review written about her work. The attack on Ms Hadid was conducted in a review of the British journalist Rowan Moore’s new book titled ‘Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture’. It was published in the 5 June issue of the NY publication. Although “Mr. Filler wrote a review of a 370-page book on architecture in which Ms. Hadid’s name is mentioned in fewer than 20 pages. Mr. Filler’s book review, by contrast, mentions Ms. Hadid in nearly two-thirds of its paragraphs,” a statement from BakerHostetler, the law firm representing Hadid states.
Hadid, who has been chosen to design the Al Wakrah World Cup stadium in Qatar for the next World Cup claimes that Filler made defamatory comments concerning her attitude toward migrant workers, published in his review. The complaint also makes clear references to a quote Hadid made to the Guardian newspaper, in which she said it was ‘not her duty as an architect to examine migrant worker conditions in Qatar.’ She is claiming Filler took those words out of context.
In his review, Filler allegedly accused Hadid of “not taking responsibility and showing no concern” for worker deaths under the Al-Wakrah project, which came under fire last month when pay slips revealed exceedingly low worker wages. Hadid is seeking damages and a full retraction of the review, calling it “a personal attack.”
“Nearly all of those references are used to call our client’s success into question or to characterise her personality as difficult,” the statement continued. “It is a personal attack disguised as a book review and has exposed Ms. Hadid to public ridicule and contempt, depriving her of confidence and injuring her good name and reputation.” BakerHostetler, the law firm representing Hadid added.