Woman Says 'Rabbi to the Stars' Drugged & Threatened To Kill Her
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Kabbalah Centre International Rabbi Yehuda Berg plied a student with Vicodin and alcohol, then felt her up and tried to have sex with her and threatened to kill her if she told anyone, the woman claims in a $40 million lawsuit.
Berg, a teacher at the Kabbalah Centre International, is a bestselling author of books, including "The Power of Kabbalah" and "The 72 Names of God."
Berg's mother Karen Berg, father Rav Berg and brother Michael Berg also teach at the center, where Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and other celebrities have studied.
In her Superior Court complaint against Yehuda Berg and the center, Berg's former student Jena Scaccetti claims that after molesting her the father of five warned that he would "fucking beat the whole right side of you until you are blue" and "'fucking kill'" her if she told anyone what had happened.
Scacetti says in the lawsuit that Berg invited her to his mother's house on Oct. 25, 2012 to "heal" her of kidney stones.
After arriving at the house, Scaccetti says that Berg badmouthed two other teachers, called his sister-in-law a "'cunt'" and "'starfucker,'" and vented his concerns about a IRS investigation of the Kabbalah Centre.
Berg told Scaccetti to take two Vicodin, ostensibly to help ease her pain, and "plied her with alcohol," according to the lawsuit.
"Yehuda sat close to Jena and started hugging her and touching her legs," the complaint states. "As Yehuda engaged in this wholly inappropriate and criminal behavior he proceeded to place his hands on Jena's legs and stated to her that they could engage in sexual activity with the promise that she would not get pregnant. Jena was deeply offended and tried to get up, Yehuda persisted in touching Jena without her consent including hugging her while telling her that she 'was very weak and not strong.'"
Scaccetti says that the rabbi, "larger than her-by at least 100 pounds," took her cellphone, found an image of her, "zoomed in on her crotch area and showed her this magnified image while asking her if her genital region '... was Brazilian or shaved.'"
"Yehuda, seeing Jena's reaction to his disgusting and outrageous behavior threatened Jena by telling her that, should she tell anyone about what occurred between them this evening or what he told her, that he would 'fucking beat the whole right side of you until you are blue' and 'fucking kill you,'" the lawsuit states. "Yehuda handed Jena two additional Vicodin and demanded that she take them. Jena pretended to do so as Yehuda took some himself and she left the apartment."
Scaccetti claims that other women have been victims of Berg's "unwanted touching of a sexual nature."
When Scaccetti complained to another teacher about the incident he told her that "'Yehuda has a problem'" and that he would "confront" the rabbi, according to the lawsuit.
Scaccetti seeks at least $40 million in damages for each count of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of fiduciary duty.
She is represented by Alain Bonavida of Beverly Hills.
Kabbalah Centre International did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Two donors sued the Kabbalah Centre in December 2013, claiming in separate lawsuits that it had defrauded them of $904,000 for projects that never happened.