Bikram Yoga founder's wife seeking divorce

Wednesday 06th January 2016 05:12 EST

WASHINGTON: Well-known yoga guru Bikram Choudhury is being divorced from his wife after his former students accused him of rape and sexual assault. Rajashree Choudhury has filed documents saying she wants to split from husband Bikram due to irreconcilable differences.

The 69 year old, founder of Bikram Yoga, has recently been accused of sexually assaulting six former students. The first of the lawsuits is expected to come to court next year. In a recent interview, he claimed his wife “never looks at me” ever since the allegations came to light. Mrs Choudhury, 50, has laid out her terms in the divorce paper, and said she wants spousal support. She has also asked for a share of the couple's homes, including properties in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Honolulu. She could get tens of millions of dollars off the separation, as under California's divorce law, anything earned whilst she was living with her husband is considered “communal property” and must be shared.

Lawsuits against Choudhury alleged that he took advantage of students as young as 47 years his junior, by telling them, “God wants us to be together”. Former student Jill Lawler alleged that he told her, “If you don't have sex with me, I'll die”, before raping her. One of his protégé, Sarah Baughn alleged that he sabotaged her career as a yoga instructor after she rebuffed his advances.

Choudhury has always been outspoken in his self-belief and in the past, compared himself to Superman or Buddha. He once claimed his key to success to be his “balls like atom bombs, two of them, 100 megatons each.” He has vehemently denied all the allegations against him and said they “dishonour Bikram yoga”.

The Yoga guru and Rajashree have been married 31 years, and built an empire which has attracted people like Madonna, Andy Murray, and David Beckham.

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