A California judge on Wednesday declared an arrest warrant for the yoga guru, Bikram Choudhury after he failed to pay almost $6.5 million to a former legal adviser in a sexual harassment case.Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton also set bail at $8 million for the founder of the Bikram yoga empire, which includes practicing yoga in sweltering rooms.
Choudhury was sued in 2013 by his one-time legal adviser Minakshi “Mikki” Jafa-Bodden, who accused him of sexual harassment, stating he fired her after she rejected to help him cover up allegations that he raped a yoga student.
Ordered to pay $6.47 million in punitive damages in January of last year, he left California quickly after the verdict, Jafa-Bodden’s attorney, Carla Minnard, told.
The guru — who had no attorney representing him in court Wednesday — first went to India and then Thailand and Japan before going to Mexico, where he was served court papers in May, Minnard told.
“He is currently in Acapulco conducting teacher training classes,” she told. “Our intent is to have him arrested before he leaves Mexico.”
The 70-year-old Choudhury had managed to move some of his assets, including a fleet of luxury cars, to Nevada and Florida, but court orders were issued to prevent him moving property out of the country, Minnard told.
“We will keep pursuing him however long it takes, wherever it takes,” she told. “I don’t care where he goes, how much money it costs us, how many lawsuits we have to file, how many hundreds of hours we have to spend — we are going to collect on this judgment and see that Mikki gets justice.”
Originally from India, Choudhury is assumed to have made a fortune after he moved to California.
He claimed during his trial that he was almost bankrupt after spending millions of dollars in legal fees and because his business was no longer thriving.
His yoga routine involves 26 posture exercises performed over 90 minutes in a room heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius.)