Washington: The founder of Bikram yoga, who has been accused of sexually assaulting multiple students, has said women love him so much he wouldn’t need to rape them to get sex.
Speaking out for the first time since six women filed civil lawsuits accusing him of unwanted sexual advances, 69-year-old Bikram Choudhury strongly denied the accusations.
‘I never assaulted them,’ he said. ‘The answer is I feel sorry for them… They’re entranced by somebody – lawyers.’
Choudhury, who pioneered the practice of working out in a room heated to 105F, has his name attached to 720 yoga schools in 220 countries. Chelsea Clinton, Madonna and Demi Moore are among his followers.
‘Women likes me. Women loves me,’ he said. ‘So if I really wanted to involve the women, I don’t have to assault the women.’
When asked how his wife of more than 30 years, fellow yoga instructor Rajashree Choudhury, had responded to the accusations, Choudhury became emotional. ‘My wife never look at me anymore,’ he said.
‘Twenty-four hours a day, I work harder than any human being in this Earth… and this is my reward? I’m a rapist? Shame on your Western culture.’
Since 2013, six women have stepped forward to accuse him of unwanted sexual advances, and studios have started to drop his name, signalling that his empire is crumbling.