Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Bikram Choudhury, the controversial founder of Bikram Yoga, has been named in two new lawsuits filed by two women accusing him of rape, according to a report from Courthousenews.com. The lawsuits, which were filed in California, also allege that people close to Choudhury recruit women for him knowing abuse is a possibility.
These lawsuits come after Bikram Yoga teacher Sarah Baughn filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Choudhury in March.
In one of lawsuits filed this week a Jane Doe alleges sexual battery, false imprisonment, discrimination, harassment, and other counts in addition to the rape allegation. It describes a cult-like atmosphere where Bikram’s followers help him find young women to assault. “Other persons in defendant Bikram Choudhury’s inner circle, were aware of defendant Bikram Choudhury’s pattern and practice of causing, inducing or persuading young women to enroll in teacher training classes to become yoga instructors only so he can sexually assault and/or rape them,” the lawsuit claims.
It describes the details of the rape that allegedly occurred during a teacher training in November of 2010. “I need to spiritually enlighten you. In order to do that, we need to become one,” the lawsuit claims Choudhury said before the alleged rape.
While less information about the second lawsuit has been reported, the Jane Doe in that case reported being raped by Choudhury twice.