The multi-millionaire celebrity founder of Bikram Yoga is being divorced from his wife after several of his former students accused him of rape and sexual assault.
Rajashree Choudhury, wife of Bikram Choudhury, filed documents saying she wanted to split from her husband due to “irreconcilable differences”.
The couple have been married for 31 years and have built a yoga empire which has attracted fans like Madonna, Andy Murray and David Beckham.
But Mr Choudhury, 69, has recently been accused of sexually assaulting six former students. The first of the lawsuits is expected to come to court next year.
In an interview last year he said that his wife “never looks at me” since the allegations came to light.
In the divorce papers, which were reported by show-business website TMZ, Mrs Choudhury, 50, laid out her terms and said that she wants spousal support.
She also wants a share of the couple’s homes including properties in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Honolulu.
Mrs Choudhury could be in line for tens of millions of dollars as under California’s divorce law, anything earned whilst she was living with her husband is considered “communal property” and must be shared.
Reports have claimed that Mr Choudhury lives a life of luxury and has a fleet of dozens of Rolls-Royce cars.
The divorce is the latest setback for Mr Choudhury, who pioneered Bikram Yoga, also known as ‘hot yoga’, which involves participants doing stretches in a room heated in excess of 104F (40C).
It has become such a success that there are now around 720 Bikram Yoga schools in 220 countries including dozens in the UK.
The lawsuits against him 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.
Sarah Baughn, one of Mr Choudhury’s former proteges, alleged that he sabotaged her career as a yoga instructor when she rebuffed his advances.
Mr Choudhury is known for being outspoken in his self-belief and has in the past likened himself to Superman or Buddha.
He once told a business magazine the key to his success was “because I have balls like atom bombs, two of them, 100 megatons each. Nobody f**** with me”.
Mr Choudhury has vehemently denied the allegations against him and has claimed that they “dishonour Bikram Yoga”.