Starchitect Zaha Hadid scores point in defamation suit

Critic accused Hadid of indifference to worker deaths on project that has not yet commenced
September 02, 2014 05:00PM

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, who sued Martin Filler and the New York Review of Books last month over what she called defamatory statements in a series of articles, scored a point last night when the publication’s editors posted a correction to Filler’s June article entitled “The Insolence of Architecture.”

In the article, Filler quoted Hadid expressing alleged indifference to construction worker deaths in Qatar, and said that about 1,000 workers have died in the construction of her Al Wakrah stadium for the 2022 World Cup. Construction on the project, however, has not yet commenced.

“There have been no worker deaths on the Al Wakrah stadium project,” Filler wrote in the correction. “Ms. Hadid’s comments about Qatar that I quoted in the review had nothing to do with the Al Wakrah site or any of her projects. I regret the error.”

Hadid filed a complaint with the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan last month in which she claimed that her comments were taken out of context. The review, an attorney for the architect said, constituted “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.”

Hadid’s suit demanded that Filler “publish an immediate retraction in the NYRB with at least as much prominence as the article itself.” The article remains online, with the corrections noted. [Blouin ArtInfo]Julie Strickland