Bikram yoga founder rocked by sexual harrassment claims
Published 22/03/2013 | 13:47
A devotee has accused the guru to Madonna and Demi Moore of asking for sexual favours.
Sarah Baughn was wooed by Bikram Choudhury as part of a pattern of behaviour which included asking female followers for massages and sexual favour, the ex-student alleged in a lawsuit.
“My wife is such a bitch, you have no idea,” said Bikram Choudhury. “She is terrible to me. She is so mean. You have to save me.”
Baughn, a model for Lululemon yoga clothes and a yoga teacher has filed the suit at Los Angeles Superior Court.
Baughn, 29, said Choudhury, 67, pursued her for years and then sabotaged her Bikram career after she refused his advances.
Choudhury counts Madonna, George Clooney and Demi Moore among his followers.
Baughn, 29, said Choudhury screened his female students, choosing the most devoted “to brush his hair and massage his body.”
Baughn said she was inspired by the classes — held in rooms heated to 100 degrees — since 2005 and enrolled in teacher-training seminar in LA.
“I know you from a past life. We have a connection. It is amazing. Should we make this a relationship?” Choudhury allegedly told her.
Baughn’s suit alleges, he pushed the star student “down toward the floor after pulling her arm and leg apart and opening her body” where he “pressed his body into hers and began whispering sexual things [until] she collapsed into sobs.”
Choudhury even “rigged the outcome” at a 2008 yoga competition so Baughn — considered a shoe-in for first place — came in second to a student who was sharing Choudhury’s hotel room, according to the lawsuit.
Choudhury, who was sued last year by another woman who said the guru routinely made sexually explicit and inappropriate remarks at teacher-training seminars, could not be reached for comment.