A New York yoga apprentice is suing her former yoga guru who she says sexually harassed her for years and then dumped her for someone else, the bombshell Manhattan Supreme Court suit says.
Brooklyn resident, Holly Faurot is suing the Jivamukti Yoga center, along with its leaders; and her mentor Ruth Lauer-Manenti alleging that she experienced harassment from the time she started there in 2009 until she ended her employment in 2014 and it caused her to depend on long-term therapy.
“I followed their philosophy of total devotion and surrender to a guru with all my heart. That’s why I didn’t question her psychological manipulation,” said Faurot.
According to court documents, Faurot’s lawyer said extensive training is required for an individual to become a teacher at the notable center. “You have to have the support of a prominent guru. And at this school, you almost have to worship your guru. You are a devotee,” he said.
Court papers referenced: “Teachings in regard to the student/guru relationship are more akin to a cult.”
Lauer-Manenti, a 20-year veteran at Jivamukti gave special care to Faurot that turned disturbing in the fall of 2010. Lauer-Manenti asked to spend the night over at the student’s New York City apartment, saying that she would be closer to work. She requested to sleep in the bed with Faurot, then she “spooned and cuddled” with the plaintiff, according to the suit.
Eventually, Lauer-Manenti’s behavior became worse. She grabbed Faurot’s breasts and attempted to get between her legs throughout the additional 25 stays the mentor had at Faurot’s place. She also asked the rookie to examine her and see if she had deposited a tampon.
Court papers say Lauer-Manenti also convinced Faurot to photograph nude in erotic positions. In exchange for the photos, Faurot gained access to the organization’s founders and the best teaching slots.
According to the suit, in the fall of 2013 Lauer-Manenti no longer had an interest in Faurot, she turned her attention to another young rookie.
Court papers also say Faurot privately recorded a discussion in which she addressed her mentor only for Lauer-Manenti to say that she thought Faurot “had wanted it.” It was after that incident that Faurot decided to quit. She also complained to the supervisors at the center but it didn’t seem to be a cause of concern for them.
The manager at the center could not be contacted, however, one employee defended Lauer-Manenti by saying “Ruth is the sweetest person you’d want to meet. It’s very disappointing that a crazy person would do such a malicious act against someone who is so holy.”
Have you or someone you know been the victim of sexual harassment at work?
We would like to let you know that as an employment law attorneys, we care and will fight on your behalf for justice in your sexual harassment lawsuit.
Remember in any circumstance at your job:
- If it feels uncomfortable to you
- Affects your job performance or
- Is causing you mental distress
You need to seek the professional advice of a sexual harassment attorney.
Our employment law attorneys handle cases involving sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, wage and hour disputes, EEOC claims and other employment-related lawsuits. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Miami to serve you. Call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.
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