Vancouver woman sues Yoga guru Bikram Choudhury for rape

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A Vancouver yoga instructor is among six women suing famed yoga chain founder Bikram Choudhury for rape.

Choudhury, 69, is the founder of Bikram Yoga, and counts among his disciples celebrities such as Madonna, Beyoncé, and George Clooney. (Boing Boing was less kind in describing Choudhury in their coverage of the newest lawsuit, calling him a “hot yoga douchebag” in a recent article.)

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles in California Civil court, includes Vancouverite yogi Jill Lawler’s allegations Choudhury “raped her during a teacher-training in the spring of 2010,” according to the New York Times.

Choudhury faces five additional civil lawsuits from women accusing the wealthy guru of assault or rape.

In her suit, Lawler indicates Choudhury “preyed” on her, notes Vancouver Desi. Further, Lawler says she was “repeatedly sexually assaulted, raped and harassed.” During her teacher training, Lawler alleges she had to spend three hours a night massaging Choudhury’s feet. Lawler claims that Choudury began by making sexual advances which evolved into forced intercourse.

In response to the combined lawsuits, Choudhury says the women are making false allegations for financial gain. He faces no criminal charges. Lawler’s case is expected to be heard in court in August.

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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