Iconic celebrity yoga trainer Bikram Choudhury is being accused of sexual assault by half a dozen former female clients.
According to a report from the New York Times, the 69-year-old yoga guru faces two civil lawsuits from six women who allege he raped, groped, and harassed them on separate occasions.
One alleged victim named Jill Lawler filed suit on Feb. 13, claiming Bikram first assaulted her in 2010. She says she enrolled in her first course with the trainer at 18 years old, which cost her $10,000.
According to Law 360, Lawler became financially dependent on Choudhury and then allowed him to assault her for a period of more than two years. In 2014, she left yoga and opted to waitress instead. “I went through total hell,” she said. “What happened to me was awful. I’ll probably always have bad dreams.”
Sarah Baughn said she had considered Choudhury a hero, until he made sexual advances against her. She filed her lawsuit in 2013. “A lot of people have blinders,” she said. “This is their entire world. They don’t want to accept that this has happened.”
Choudhury and a slew of A-list celebs, including Madonna, George Clooney, and Jennifer Aniston, deny the allegations.
‘”Their claims are false and dishonor Bikram yoga and the health and spiritual benefits it has brought to the lives of millions of practitioners throughout the world,” said Choudhury’s attorney in a statement.
“After a thorough investigation, the Los Angeles County district attorney declined to file any sexual assault charges against Mr. Choudhury or the college for lack of evidence,” the statement continued.