December 3, 2021

GC of Bikram Yoga wins $7.3 million in sexual harassment case

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Credit: Juanmonino/

Credit: Juanmonino/

By Stephanie Forshee From Corporate Counsel

The former general counsel of Bikram Yoga won millions of dollars in punitive damages on Tuesday in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company’s founder, Bikram Choudhury.

A state court jury in Los Angeles awarded the former GC, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, $6.4 million in punitive damages. The award came a day after the same jury found Choudhury liable for gender discrimination, wrongful termination and sexual harassment and ordered him to pay Jafa-Bodden $924,500 in compensatory damages.

Jafa-Bodden filed suit in June 2013, alleging that the Bikram Yoga founder sexually harassed her and wrongfully terminated her after she began to investigate claims he had raped one of his yoga students. Other women have come forward with rape and harassment allegations; most of those cases are pending, while one was reportedly settled.

In court, Choudhury denied allegations of sexual assault and testified that Jafa-Bodden was terminated because she was not authorized to practice law in the U.S., according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We think the jury’s verdict is a tremendous vindication of all of Ms. Bodden’s efforts to stop this abusive and harassing conduct not just towards herself but to numerous other women who have attempted to stand up to Bikram Choudhury,” said one of Jafa-Bodden’s attorneys, Carla Minnard, in a prepared statement. Mark T. Quigley also represented Jafa-Bodden in the case.

Choudhury’s attorney Robert Tafoya did not immediately respond for comment.

Credit: Juanmonino/

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