A guru at a Manhattan yoga center was really twisted, a million-dollar lawsuit says.
Ruth Lauer-Manenti sexually harassed apprentice teacher Holly Faurot for years before dumping her for a new rookie, the bombshell Manhattan Supreme Court suit says.
Now Faurot, 35, of Brooklyn, is suing the center, its leaders and her guru, claiming that the years of harassment at Jivamukti Yoga Center near Union Square forced her into years of therapy.
“I followed their philosophy of total devotion and surrender to a guru with all my heart,” Faurot told the Daily News.
“That’s why I didn’t question her psychological manipulation.”
Faurot’s lawyer, Thomas Shanahan, said that in order for someone to become a teacher at the popular center, they have to do extensive personal training with a guru or mentor.
“You have to have the support of a prominent guru. And at this school, you almost have to worship your guru. You are a devotee,” he said.
“Teachings in regard to the student/guru relationship are more akin to a cult,” according to court papers.
From the time she started there in 2009 until she left in 2014, Faurot’s guru was Lauer-Manenti, a 20-year veteran of Jivamukti.
Shanahan said Lauer-Manenti paid special attention to his client that started getting creepy in the fall of 2010. That’s when the married Lauer-Manenti asked to stay over at Faurot’s apartment in the city to be closer to work. She then asked to sleep in Faurot’s bed where she “spooned and cuddled” with her student, the suit says.
Gradually, court papers say, Lauer-Manenti’s conduct escalated — in addition to grabbing Faurot’s breasts and trying to get between her legs during 25 additional sleepovers, the guru asked her apprentice, in the staff bathroom, to examine her teacher to see if she had inserted a tampon. Continue reading >>