Celebrity yoga guru fined $6.47m for sexual harassment in US

January 28, 2016 09:13
Celebrity yoga guru fined $6.47m for sexual harassment in US

A US court has ordered the celebrity yoga guru Bikram Choudhury to pay $924,500 as compensatory damages in a lawsuit filed by a female employee over sexual harassment as well as firing the female employee. He was also asked by the court to pay $6.47 million as punitive damages.

According to Choudhury's former legal adviser, Plaintiff Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, Bikram Choudhury touched her inappropriately, besides wrongfully firing her in 2013. This happened after the lady began to probe sexual abuse claims from other women.

Yoga Guru Bikram Choudhury

After the verdict was given, Jafa-Bodden told New York Daily News that, "I feel elated and vindicated."

Meanwhile, the Kolkata-born Bikram Choudhury testified that he is "almost bankrupt". The 69-year-old yoga guru was founder of Bikram Yoga, a form of hot yoga.

Jurors were told by Choudhury he did not have any income at all last year. His collection of over 30 luxury cars has been promised for a children's school of automotive engineering. The promise was made to California Governor Jerry Brown.

In 2013, Jafa-Bodden filed her lawsuit claiming Choudhury of sexually harassment with her with a barrage of misogynistic comments. Choudhury was also claimed of threatening her life and her daughter's life upon raising questions concerning sexual abuse brought by many women. Earlier, Jafa-Bodden testified in the trial that the yoga guru made her life a living hell after moving from India to the US to serve as his personal lawyer.

- Sumana

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