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Hot Yoga Founder Bikram Choudhury Allegedly on the Run
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Summary: The founder of Bikram Yoga has allegedly avoided paying his multi-million judgment from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed in 2013. 

The founder of Bikram Yoga is feeling the heat. In the past few years, Bikram Choudhury has been slapped with sexual assault allegations and lawsuits, and now attorneys claim that the yoga guru is on the run, according to the National Post. 

  
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Choudhury, 73, founded the wildly popular Bikram Yoga, an exercise program consisting of 26 yoga moves performed in sweltering heat. Its millions of followers swear by its classes because of its health and meditative results, but recently, the creator’s reputation has tarnished.

In 2013, Choudhury was sued by his former attorney, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, because he allegedly sexually harassed and then fired her after she investigated a claim from a student who said he raped her. A court ordered him to pay $6.8 million in damages, but the Bikram Yoga creator has yet to show the cash.

“She tried to put her foot down and stop this man,” Jafa-Bodden’s attorney Aaron Osten said to The Washington Post.”He threatened her life. He threatened her family’s life, he threatened to have her deported.”

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After Jafa-Bodden was successful with her lawsuit, six other women came forward with sexual assault complaints. One lawsuit is pending a settlement while the other five are scheduled for trial next year.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton issued an arrest warrant for the hot yoga founder and ordered him to give up the proceeds of his lucrative business to pay Jafa-Bodden. Moreton also set his bail at $8 million.



“It’s been a long road chasing this guy down,” Osten said. “I don’t want to say it’s done, but it’s awfully close, because he’s got nowhere else to go.”

Following Jafa-Bodden’s win against Choudhury, the yoga expert allegedly funneled his assets in sham corporations to avoid paying the judgment. Last year, he said he was bankrupt, despite flaunting his wealth and traveling the world for work.

Osten said that Choudhury was lying about his lack of wealth and pointed out that the Bikram Yoga founder had a fleet of 44 luxury cars in a warehouse in California. He said that Choudhury tried to ship the vehicles overseas and that the team was working on preventing him from doing so. Osten also said that Choudhury had recently purchased a $3 million diamond-encrusted watch.

“He has sufficient funds to satisfy the judgment,” Osten said. “But he’d rather play this game and run fast and loose with this legal system.”

The National Post said that despite his fugitive status, Choudhury is still enjoying working and traveling the world. This week’s arrest warrant, however, gives authorities the ability to flag him down at any airport whose country is a member of The Hague Convention.

Source: National Post

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

What do you think of Bikram Choudhury? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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