Yoga guru is a ‘flex’ offender
Bikram founder hit with sex-harass suit
The founder of Bikram yoga is a hopeless pervert who despises his wife and begs his flexy female followers to brush his hair, give him massages and have sex, a former student charges in a new lawsuit.
“My wife is such a bitch, you have no idea,” pony-tailed, Speedo-sporting Bikram Choudhury allegedly told protégé Sarah Baughn in a bid to get her into bed. “She is terrible to me. She is so mean. You have to save me.”
Baughn, a top Bikram teacher, respected yoga coach and model for Lululemon yoga clothing, made the claims in a sex-harassment and discrimination suit filed this month in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Baughn, 29, claims Choudhury, 67, relentlessly pursued her for years and then sexually assaulted her and sabotaged her Bikram career after she refused to respond to the constant come-ons.
The suit reveals a seemy, twisted side to Choudhury, who counts Madonna, George Clooney and Demi Moore among his followers.
Baughn, 29, said she was a fresh-faced college sophomore when she started Bikram classes — and quickly noticed something was amiss.
The yoga guru, the suit claims, would carefully check out his female students, choosing the most devoted “to brush his hair and massage his body.” But Baughn loved the classes — held in rooms heated to roughly 100 degrees — and continued going.
Choudhury first propositioned her at a 2005 teacher-training seminar in LA, the suit claims.
He “picked her as a favorite” after class and insisted: “I know you from a past life. We have a connection. It is amazing. Should we make this a relationship?”
Baughn was “mortified” at the proposition and immediately told her boyfriend, according to court papers. She avoided Choudhury — whose wife, Rajashree, helps run the yoga empire — and continued her classes.
But the guru persisted.
At one point, Baughn’s suit alleges, he pushed the star student “down toward the floor after pulling her arm and leg apart and opening her body” where he “pressed his body into hers and began whispering sexual things [until] she collapsed into sobs.”
Choudhury even “rigged the outcome” at a 2008 yoga competition so Baughn — considered a shoe-in for first place — came in second to a student who was sharing Choudhury’s hotel room, according to the lawsuit.
Choudhury, who was sued last year by another woman who said the guru routinely made sexually explicit and inappropriate remarks at teacher-training seminars, could not be reached for comment.