Crime & Justice

Jury awards $177,500 in suit against Kabbalah Centre

Yehuda Berg of the Kabbalah Centre holds his book,
Yehuda Berg of the Kabbalah Centre holds his book, "The Red String Book: The Power of Protection," at a party held at Kitson on October 26, 2004 in Los Angeles.
Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

A Los Angeles jury has awarded more than $177,000 to a former student of the Kabbalah Centre who claimed a so-called "Rabbi to the Stars" made unwanted sexual advances.

City News Service says the jury on Tuesday found Kabbalah Centre International and Rabbi Yehuda Berg were liable for inflicting emotional distress on Jena Scaccetti. The jury also found the Los Angeles-based center was negligent.

Berg is a former co-director of the center and had been seen publicly with Madonna, Ashton Kutcher and other students.

Scaccetti alleged that the rabbi improperly touched her leg, embraced her and tried to ply her with drugs and alcohol to have sex during a visit to his mother's apartment in New York three years ago.

Berg left the center last year.