Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Edward Moreton issued a warrant for Bikram yoga founder Bikram Choudhury, who owed $6.8 million from a pervious court case.


Choudhury was ordered to pay plaintiff Minakshi Jafa-Bodden nearly $7 million in damages after she sued him in 2016 for sexual harassment and unlawful termination. A judge ordered the founder to pay, but he has not obliged, and appears to be fleeing the U.S. in order to avoid paying.

Jafa-Bodden’s attorney, Carla Minnard, says her team has tracked several luxury vehicles and various other property that imply that Choudhury has moved out of California. They also have court orders in Nevada and Florida, which will prevent Choudhury from moving property out of warehouses in those states.

The first civil lawsuit against Choudhury came in 2013, when multiple women came forward against him with claims of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. At the time, the Los Angeles district attorney’s office decline to prosecute, and after this even more women stepped forward. By Feb. 2015, a total of six civil suits had been brought against Choudhury.

Also in 2015, Choudhury gave an interview in which he denied all the allegations, and said he would never need to assault or harass women for sex because “women love me.” “If I really wanted to involve with the women, I don’t have to assault [them],” he told CNN. “I never assaulted them.”

“A lot of people have blinders on,” said Sarah Baughn, one of his accusers, in 2015, told People. “This is their entire world. They don’t want to accept that this has happened,” she said about the many followers of Bikram yoga. Multiple celebrities see Choudhury and his movement as an icon and a staple of their lives.

Also in 2015, Choudhury fired Jafa-Bodden. According to her, he repeatedly sexually assaulted her, and fired her when she looked into the other accusations against Choudhury. Jafa-Bodden was the first to win a case against Choudhury, and that was in Jan. 2016. There are three cases against the founder still pending.

Now Choudhury is thought to be on the run. The issued warrant “will enable us to have [Choudhury] arrested in any country that is a member of the Hague convention,” Minnard told People, and his bail is now set at $8 million. “We are going to pursue payment of this judgment no matter where he goes, no matter how much it costs and no matter how long it takes. We are going to get justice for Micki [Jafa-Bodden] and her daughter.”

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