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Yoga Guru Bikram Choudhury Must Pay $900,000 to Former Employee, Jury Decides

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A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury deliberated for about a day before returning a unanimous verdict against yoga guru Bikram Choudhury. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga, to pay about $924,500 to a lawyer who alleged that he sexually harassed her while she worked for him and that she was fired after she began investigating claims that Choudhury had raped a yoga student.

Attorney Minakshi Jafa-Bodden alleged that she suffered gender discrimination, wrongful termination and sexual harassment during her time working for Choudhury.

During testimony, Choudhury, 69, alternately described accusations of mistreatment and abuse of Jaffa-Bodden and other employees as “lies” and “big lies,” drawing laughs from the jury. Choudhury and his attorneys said that Jafa-Bodden was let go because she did not have a license to practice law in the United States.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury deliberated for about a day before returning with the unanimous verdict in favor of Jafa-Bodden, according to Mark Quigley, who along with attorney Carla Minnard represented Jafa-Bodden.

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