NEW YORK: Indian-born, Los Angeles-based hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury, who already faces rape lawsuits, has now been slapped with another lawsuit that charges him with sexual harassment, misogyny, threats of violence and racism.
Choudhury, 67, who came to the US from Kolkata in 1973, is the master of a multi-millionaire `hot yoga’ empire. He lives in the Hollywood Hills in Los Angles and boasts a fleet of 40 Rolls-Royces.
His brand of the so-called hot yoga features 26 asanas performed in 100F temperatures.
After three lawsuits filed against him since March, the yoga guru has now been sued by his former legal adviser Minakshi Jaffa-Bodden who worked at his Yoga College of India in Los Angeles.
Minakshi, who was reportedly forced to resign by the yoga guru and evicted from her place with her daughter, accuses him of sexual assaulting students and employees and using terms such as `bitches’ against female employees.
Minakshi, who filed the lawsuit in June, told the Huffington Post that her troubles began in March when she started looking into
allegations of sexual assaults reported during training conferences by the yoga guru.
Minakshi says she was told “not to look into it any further’’.
But she says she didn’t stop and went ahead with the investigation. It is then when Bikram and his staff started intimidating her. She says they threatened her with violence and forced her to sign her resignation letter in March.
In her lawsuit, Minakshi alleges rampant sexual harassment and threats of violence at the yoga school.
The lawsuit also quotes Bikram saying that “AIDS is caused by gays, it is the truth. But these f—ing a–hole guys love me, they love Bikram.”
Minakshi accuses Bikram of being derogatory towards the blacks, quoting him as saying, “These blacks just don’t get my yoga.’’
The yoga master’s troubles seem be piling up.
In March, one of his former students Sarah Baughn had filed a lawsuit against him, accusing him of sexually assaulting and harassing her, and then sabotaging her career.
In May, two cases filed by Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 accuse Bikram of sexual exploitation, rape and human trafficking.