5 women accuse architect Richard Meier of sexual harassment

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NEW YORK (AP) — Prize-winning architect Richard Meier is facing sexual-harassment accusations from several women and is taking a six-month leave from the New York- and Los Angeles-based firm he founded.

Four women who worked with him and a fifth who met him on a project have detailed encounters in which they say he sexually harassed them.

The New York Times on Tuesday reported the earliest accusation dates to the 1980s. Furniture designer Carol Vena-Mondt says Meier tried to forcefully engage in sexual activity in Los Angeles while he was designing the Getty Center.

Meier says he's "deeply troubled and embarrassed" by the accounts. He says while "recollections may differ" he sincerely apologizes.

The other allegations come from women who worked with Meier in the 2000s and include recountings of Meier exposing himself.

The 83-year-old Meier is a winner of the Pritzker Prize.

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Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com