The 67 year-old founder of the popular “hot yoga” craze was just hit with a third lawsuit from his former legal counsel who is accusing him of racism, misogyny, sexual harassment, homophobia and threats of violence.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Bikram Choudhury is now being sued by his former legal adviser, Minakshi Jaffa-Bodden, who claims in papers filed in early June that he threatened to have her and her eight year-old daughter deported. He then took possession of her company car and evicted her and her daughter from the home the company was providing for her.
Apparently, the trouble started for Jaffa-Bodden when she was made aware of allegations of sexual assault that took place during Choudhury’s training conferences. When she attempted to investigate the complaints, she was told that it would be “best” if she “not look into it any further.”
Jaffa-Bodden ignored this advice, which led to intimidation by Choudhury and other employees of his Los Angeles-based Yoga College of India.
Matters came to a head in March 2013 when, under threat of physical violence, she was forced to resign her position.
Her suit contends that it was her objections to Choudhury’s behavior that resulted in her forced resignation. She also alleges that the school’s environment was one of rampant misogyny, homophobia, racism, sexual harassment and threats of violence.
“There’s a great desire to keep Bikram’s conduct in the dark,” said Carla Minnard to The Huffington Post. “It shows an inability by anyone to restrain an individual who is a dangerous person.”
Choudhury’s super-ego appears to have been out of control for quite some time. Aside from likening himself to Jesus, Superman and Buddha, the yogi who likes to practice yoga while wearing nothing more than a tiny Speedo was sued four months ago by a 29 year-old student who claimed he sexually assaulted her and then ruined her yoga career when she continued to resist him.
Sadly, Choudhury is just one of many yogis who have been seduced by the fame and fortune of the multi-billion dollar yoga industry into thinking they are above the law.