Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga, will be the focus of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" when its new season debuts at 10 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 25. (Watch two preview clips of the episode at the bottom of this story.)
During the past three decades, Choudhury, 72, has become one of the most successful yoga gurus in the world and a rich man by certifying instructors to teach his unique brand of yoga, a discipline that combines 26 traditional poses with 105-degree heat and 40 percent humidity for a 90-minute session. But "Real Sports" correspondent Andrea Kremer spoke with dozens of certified trainers who liken Choudhury to a cult leader who berates students during their weeks-long training. In recent years, he has faced allegations of sexual assault, which have resulted in multiple lawsuits.
Kremer travels to Choudhury’s native India, where many wonder if he will remain to avoid his civil suits, and finds him teaching his training classes once again. Kremer questions Choudhury on the claims of sexual assault.
In a preview of the episode, Choudhury said about the women who are making the accusations: "Lie, lie and lie. They will do anything to make money. I picked them from trash and give them life."
Kramer sits down with three of the alleged victims, one of whom is speaking publicly for the first time.
In January, Choudhury was ordered to pay $6.4 million in punitive damages and $924,000 in compensatory damages to his former legal counsel, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden. The jury in the civil case, which was heard in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles Country, found that the yoga guru was guilty of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, defamation, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other claims.
If you miss the original air date, the episode also will play on HBO on the following dates:
- Oct. 27 - 9:15 a.m., 4:45 a.m.
- Oct. 29 - 1:15 p.m.
- Nov. 2 - 1:30 p.m., 11:30 p.m.,
- Nov. 6 - 8 a.m.
- Nov. 9 - 3:45 p.m., 10:30 p.m.
- Nov. 11 - 4:15 p.m.
- Nov. 15 - 5 a.m.
It also will play on HBO2 on the following dates:
- Oct. 26 - 5 p.m.
- Oct. 28 - 3 p.m.
- Nov. 1 - 12:45 a.m.
- Nov. 4 - 9 p.m.
- Nov. 8 - 1:35 a.m.
- Nov. 12 - 1 p.m.
- Nov. 16 - 9:30 a.m.
- Nov. 19 - 9:20 a.m.
The show is also available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.