Bikram Choudhury accused of rape in new lawsuits

yoga DownwardDog-Extended

Two women filed separate lawsuits this week claiming Bikram Choudhury raped them. The lawsuit also claims that Bikram’s inside circle actively recruits women for him.

“Jane Doe No. 2 sued Choudhury and Bikram Yoga College of India in Superior Court on Monday, alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment, discrimination, harassment and seven other counts. Jane Doe No. 1 filed a similar complain Tuesday against the same defendants in the same court,” Courthouse News Service reported.

These lawsuits come after former student and Bikram Yoga teacher Sarah Baughn filed one in March. Baughn alleges sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination. Bikram has denied these allegations.

The new lawsuits are more serious as the defendants are claiming Bikram raped them.

According to courthousenews.com, Jane Doe No. 2 claims that Choudhury raped her in November 2010 after her boyfriend gave her a gift to be trained as a teacher at Choudhury’s Bikram Yoga studio in San Diego.

“Other persons in defendant Bikram Choudhury’s inner circle, were aware of defendant Bikram Choudhury’s pattern and practice of causing, inducing or persuading young women to enroll in teacher training classes to become yoga instructors only so he can sexually assault and/or rape them,” she claims in her suit.

Jane Doe No. 2 claims that on the night of the attack Bikram told her he wanted to discuss a job offer in his room.

“Defendant Bikram Choudhury said saw himself in plaintiff (he had said that to her before) and that, ‘I need to spiritually enlighten you. In order to do that, we need to become one.’ Then, without warning or consent, defendant Bikram Choudhury forcefully pulled plaintiff towards him and had one hand around her and the other was unbuttoning her jeans. He hooked his hand at the top of her pants and tried to pull them down with force,” the complaint states.

The woman claims she pushed Choudhury away but that he threatened her, grabbed her by the wrist, forced her into his bedroom and raped her.

She is seeking “punitive damages, lost wages, and costs.” Not much is known about Jane Doe No. 1’s complaint, but according to reports is “substantially the same,” as No. 2’s complaint.

Bikram has built an empire around a synthesized form of traditional hatha yoga. Bikram yoga classes run for 90 minutes and consist of the same series of 26 postures practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on @marygeorgant

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.