New Delhi: The founder of ‘hot yoga’, Bikram Choudhury, 67, has been accused of sexual harassment by his protege and is said to have referred to his wife as a b****, according to a suit filed in Los Angeles’ superior court and reported by The Guardian.
The founder of the famous Bikram yoga studio, allegedly pursued his student Sarah Baughn, 29, for years, claiming they were connected in past life, according to the Guardian report. He said his wife Rajashree didn’t understand him.
According to the law suit, Choudury denied Baughn an international championship title and prevented her from teaching because of what Baughn stated in court documents as “her past and continuing refusal to have sex with her guru.”
The Guardian quoted Choudhury as telling Baughn: “My wife is such a b****, you have no idea.” He told Baughn: “I am so lonely. I am dying. I can feel myself dying. I will not be alive if someone doesn’t save me.”
Choudhury claims to have taught yoga to presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton. Celebrities such as Madonna, David Beckham, George Clooney, Jennifer Anniston and Lady Gaga have all practiced the yoga system, which consists of 26 sequential poses and takes place in rooms heated to over 100F (37.8C).
Choudhury and his wife Rajashree control the Bikram yoga empire from their home in Beverly Hills, California.
The Guardian said Baughn paid Choudhury $7,500 to attend a “gruelling” nine-week training course.
“Very early in training, Sarah Baughn noticed that Bikram Choudhury’s relationship with young women yoga students was different,” the Guardian quoted the suit as saying. Young women were chosen to brush the pony-tailed guru’s hair and give him massages, it alleges. On the third night of training Choudhury had one of his students hand Baughn his diamond-studded Rolex watch, it said.
Choudhury insisted that he had known Baughn in a past life and the connection was “so strong and meaningful that he still remembered it”.