An arrest warrant was issued for Bikram Choudhury, the “hot yoga” founder who is embroiled in sexual abuse allegations.
Minakshi “Micki” Jafa-Bodden, who headed Choudhury’s legal team from 2011 to 2013, sued her employer for sexual harassment and wrongful termination after she was fired from her six-figure position for refusing to cover up a rape allegation.
Choudhury, who claimed last year he was nearly bankrupt, was ordered to pay her $7 million in December but instead hid assets and fled the country, according to KABC.
"To have that bench warrant issued for Bikram. It sends a message to a debtor like Bikram that he will be held accountable and that the wheels of justice, although they don't turn as fast as we would want them to, they do turn," Jafa-Bodden said outside of court Wednesday, KABC reported.
Attorneys for Jafa-Bodden said Choudhury moved a fleet of 43 luxury cars out of California and have orders blocking him from moving property out of storage lockers in Nevada and Florida.
The cars including Bentleys and Rolls Royces vanished from a California warehouse last year. Jafa-Bodden’s attorneys tracked 20 of the cars to a Florida warehouse.
Choudhury, a pioneer of yoga in the United States, developed his Bikram yoga routine often performed in a room which reaches temperatures over 100 degrees. He has a celebrity client list and franchised his yoga studios worldwide.
Despite the legal issues, he still is teaching disciples in Acupulco, Mexico, according to KABC.
Choudhury also faces sexual assault lawsuits from six other women.
He denies any wrongdoing and no criminal charges were filed in those incidents. However, he has settled three out of court and three others are pending, according to KABC.
Choudhury’s bail is set at $8 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.