Home » Bikram Choudhury loses his yoga empire, $6.8 million to former employee

Bikram Choudhury loses his yoga empire, $6.8 million to former employee

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Minakshi ‘Miki’ Jafa-Bodden gets control of 700 yoga studios.bikram choudhury

Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram yoga, has lost his business empire to his former employee Minakshi ‘Miki’ Jafa-Bodden.

Choudhury has been ordered to turn over the proceeds from his global fitness business to go toward a $6.8 million judgment in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Jafa-Bodden, reported the Daily Mail.

The ruling by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge orders Choudhury to hand over to a court-appointed receiver funds from his book sales and from the nearly 700 yoga studios in Europe, Asia and the Americas that pay to use his name, reported AP.

The move comes after Choudhury’s former legal adviser Minakshi ‘Miki’ Jafa-Bodden successfully sued the ‘yogi to the stars’ last year, claiming sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

The Oxford-educated lawyer and mother-of-one had worked as head of legal and international affairs at Choudhury’s Los Angeles yoga school from spring 2011 until March 2013.

The plaintiff and her legal team are now in the process of trying to locate some of the fitness guru’s property, including a diamond-encrusted watch and the fleet of luxury cars, which reportedly had gone missing.

Jafa-Bodden’s wrongful termination lawsuit is separate from sexual assault lawsuits filed by six other women, five of whom accuse Choudhury of raping them.

The most recent complaint, filed in February 2015, accused Choudhury of raping Jill Lawler, a Canadian woman who was just 18 at the time. Lawler used $10,000 from her college fund to pay for a nine-week class so she could teach Bikram yoga to others, reported Daily Mail.

She said she went into the class elated, but things quickly soured as she was expected to massage him while watching Bollywood movies late into the night.

As they watched the films, he groped her, she said. He apologized but weeks later, he asked Lawler to come to his hotel room where he sexually assaulted her, she claimed.

The fitness guru’s attorneys have said he never sexually assaulted any of the women suing him and that prosecutors had declined to bring criminal charges in those cases.

Choudhury told CNN in 2015: ‘Women likes me. Women loves me. So if I really wanted to involve the women, I don’t have to assault the women.’

In the same interview, he said: ‘My wife never look at me anymore.’ He and his wife are legally separated now.

The Oxford-educated lawyer and mother-of-one had worked as head of legal and international affairs at Choudhury’s Los Angeles yoga school from spring 2011 until March 2013.

The plaintiff and her legal team are now in the process of trying to locate some of the fitness guru’s property, including a diamond-encrusted watch and the fleet of luxury cars, which reportedly had gone missing.

Bikram yoga, named after and devised by Bikram Choudhury, is based on regular hatha yoga, but performed in 100F temperatures.

Choudhury began practicing yoga in Calcutta at the age of three, spending up to six hours a day perfecting his poses. At 13 he won the National India Yoga Championship and went on to devise the 26 ‘asanas’ (poses) and two breathing methods that form the core of Bikram yoga.

He claims to have been invited to the United States in 1973 by now-former President Richard Nixon to help him improve his health through yoga. He also claims to have taught yoga to Reagan and Clinton and has a legion of celebrity fans including Lady Gaga, Madonna, Jennifer Aniston and tennis champion Andy Murray.