Following the success of the first two seasons of ‘Tiger King,’ Netflix’s latest three-part docuseries revisits one of the many eclectic characters that were featured in the first season. ‘Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story’ delves into the early life of Mahamayavi Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, with a particular emphasis on the time he spent learning Swami Satchidananda’s teachings at the Yogaville Ashram in Virginia.
However, people who knew him from that time talked of a disturbingly dark side. Sumati Steinberg was one of them. On the show, she spoke of becoming Doc’s spiritual wife when she was only 15 years old. So, if you’re wondering what happened to Sumati and where she might be today, here’s what we know!
Who is Sumati Steingberg?
Sumati showed an inclination toward yoga and meditation at a young age. When she was just five years old, her parents met Swami Satchidananda and she began meditating at eleven. Sumati had moved out of her parents’ home when she was about fifteen years old and began to live at the Yogaville Ashram. She stated that the community there was loving and accepting. But also around the same time, she had come across Doc Antle, who was in his early 20s.
By then, Doc was a follower of the teachings there. A popular presence at the ashram, Doc ran a zoo close by. On the show, Sumati stated that she had sex with Doc on her fifteenth birthday. But before that, they got married in a spiritual wedding ceremony at his house. At the time, Doc was already married to Betsy “Brahmi” Rogers. Doc reassured Sumati that Betsy was okay with the open marriage. However, that turned out to be untrue later on.
As the years with Doc progressed, Sumati realized that she was in a relationship she didn’t want to be a part of. Sumati mentioned on the show that there were multiple instances where Doc was violent and abusive towards her. She claimed that there were at least four instances when she truly believed Doc losing his temper meant her death. Another incident Sumati mentioned was an inappropriate naked photoshoot that took place when she was still a teenager. But when Betsy found those photos, she burned them.
Where is Sumati Steinberg Now?
Sumati later got pregnant with Doc’s son, whom she named Tilakam. On the show, she stated that the pregnancy made her realize many things. Importantly, Sumati resolved that she didn’t want her son to grow up in an abusive environment. Today, she seems to be doing much better. Sumati got a nursing degree in the 1990s, is a certified yoga therapist, and is a spiritual life coach. Now a grandmother to three children, she seems to live with her family in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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