More kryptonite is on the way. Jury trials are scheduled to begin in the Los Angeles Superior Court against the yoga guru in June (Jane Doe No. 1), August (Jill Lawler) and December (Sarah Baughn).
The complaints contain similar allegations. Choudhury claimed to have known Lawler and Baughn in past lives. After paying up to $12,000 to attend a nine-week teacher training course, the plaintiffs were subjected to odd behavior and a variety of sexual harassment. Choudhury allegedly requires certain female students to brush his hair in front of the class and massage his feet for hours in the evening. That’s creepy.
The most serious allegations relate to the sexual harassment. Jane Doe No. 1 claims that Choudhury demanded oral sex then raped her. Choudhury is alleged to have raped her again several days later.
Jill Lawler, a young woman from a small town in Canada, claims that Choudhury tried to put his hand down her pants. Two weeks later, Choudhury demanded that Ms. Lawler manually bring him to orgasm.
Sarah Baughn claims that during a class Choudhury pushed her down then “pressed his body into hers and began whispering sexual things to her.” On another occasion, Choudhury pressed Sarah against a door and sexually assaulted her.
After the complaints were filed, Choudhury’s lawyers released a statement asserting “Their claims are false and dishonor Bikram yoga and the health and spiritual benefits it has brought to the lives of millions of practitioners throughout the world.”
What does Bikram’s wife have to say about this? In December 2015, Rajashree Choudhury filed for divorce citing “irreconcilable differences.”
Namaste, Mrs. Choudhury.
This post originally appeared on abovethelaw.com.
Jon Pfeiffer is an experienced entertainment and copyright trial attorney practicing in Santa Monica. Jon is also an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where he teaches Media Law. COM 570 covers First Amendment issues as well as copyright, defamation and privacy.