The founder of hot yoga has been ordered to pay more than $6m (£4.18m) to a lawyer who says he sexually harassed her and sacked her for investigating allegations against him. US-based millionaire Bikram Choudhury, 69, is famous for the yoga method he began performing in a hot room in 2002.
The $6m is in addition to $1m Minakshi Jafa-Bodden was awarded on Monday. She was head of legal and international affairs at Mr Choudhury’s Los Angeles yoga school from 2011 until 2013. Ms Jafa-Bodden said she was abruptly sacked from her position for refusing to cover up an investigation into a rape allegation.
On Tuesday, a jury in a Los Angeles court ordered the India-born guru to pay her nearly $6.5m in punitive damages, reports say. The jury on Monday had awarded her nearly $1m in compensation after it decided that she was subjected to harassment, discrimination and retaliation. That brings the total damages to more than $7m.
What is Bikram yoga?
Created by Bikram Choudhury this form of yoga is made up of a series of 26 postures which are performed in an extremely hot room. The 90-minute classes are all taught in exactly the same way in rooms heated to 105F (40.5C) exactly. Because of this consistency across the world, Mr Choudhury refers to the practice as McYoga. He teaches wearing small black pants, while followers also wear tight, skimpy clothing. (BBC News, 2016)