Yogi Bikram’s Sexual Harassment Saga
LOS ANGELES, CA – The saga of Bikram Choudhury’s sexual harassment continues! You likely know his name from his popular Bikram Yoga classes, the yogi’s gluttonous wealth, or from the numerous sexual harassment allegations against him in recent years. Bikram Yoga is a system of yoga that Choudhury synthesized from 26 traditional hatha yoga postures in a hot humid room. As all official Bikram classes are taught by Bikram-certified teachers and he collected numerous intellectual property rights, Choudhury accumulated extreme wealth over the years.
Back in 2013, Choudhury began to be accused by several women of multiple counts of discrimination and unlawful conduct, including rape, human trafficking, and false imprisonment. Later in June 2013, his former female attorney, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden filed her own law suit against Choudhury for employment discrimination, sexual harassment (which is a form of gender discrimination), retaliation, and wrongful termination in the workplace. According to her complaint, the disgraced yogi demeaned and harassed women, forced his ex-attorney to meet with him in his hotel room at night while female students massaged him and on one occasion insisted Jafa-Bodden join him on his bed during a meeting—which she refused to do. The Jafa-Bodden also claimed that when she began investigating sexual assault allegations against Choudhury, he retaliated against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Then the court found that Jafa-Bodden suffered “severe and pervasive” harassment while working at Choudhury’s Los Angeles headquarters. Moreover, when she made complaints to higher-ups about the sexual harassment and the hostile work environment she was subjected to, she was retaliated against and terminated.
Last year, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark A. Borenstein ordered that Choudhury’s income and ownership of his namesake yoga school must be handed to Jafa-Bodden to satisfy a multimillion-dollar judgment in her sex harassment case against him, and the judge approved a receiver to sell the yogi’s intellectual property. The order was needed because he refused to pay any amount, and allegedly “fled the United States to avoid payment of this judgment.” Choudhury attempted to appeal the case.
Most recently on August 23, 2017, a California appellate court dismissed the infamous Choudhury’s appeal to overturn the almost $6.7 million judgment against him. The massive win was by Jafa-Bodden in a wrongful termination and sexual harassment suit, where Bikram “flagrantly” disobeyed court orders in trying to thwart the Jafa-Bodden’s efforts to collect on the judgement.
Jafa-Bodden’s will now be able to divert the income Choudhury received from agreements with vendors such as his yoga studio franchise agreements, and royalty and licensing payments based on his trademark, copyrights and other intellectual property. The court also granted a “charging” order to give her Choudhury’s ownership interest in Bikram Yoga College of India. Jafa-Bodden also sought an interest in Choudhury’s several dozen luxury vehicles, his diamond-encrusted watch and any stock, in order to satisfy the judgment.
If you feel like you need help or a way out contact the experienced New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination. Working together with our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.
Call today to schedule a FREE sexual harassment or employment discrimination legal Consultation in NY, NJ & PA with one of our top rated employment law or sexual harassment attorneys here at the Derek Smith Law Group. You can reach us online or by calling . Our New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia labor & employment law attorneys handle a variety of cases involving sexual harassment, racial discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and other employment-related claims. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey and Philadelphia to serve you.
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