Lisa Borders was CEO of Time’s Up; Son accused of sexual misconduct…
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Lisa Borders, chief executive of Time’s Up, the celebrity-driven campaign against sexual harassment and assault, resigned suddenly to stand by her son, who faces allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Borders stepped down from her leadership position four days after a 31-year-old woman claimed, in a Facebook post, that she had been sexually harassed by Borders’ 36-year-old son.
“I don’t want it to happen to anyone else,” Celia Gellert wrote on Facebook. “And I want to be strong and stand my ground and speak my truth.”
Gellert told the Times that Borders’ son, Garry “Dijon” Bowden Jr., offered her a “healing session.”
Gellert said Bowden used it to “violate” her, touching her genitalia, kissing her neck, and brushing his genitalia against her body.
“I told him I didn’t feel well and he kept saying, ‘Trust me,’” Gellert said. “He kissed the back of my neck and said ‘Don’t worry if you are afraid,’” adding that he brushed his genitalia over her arm, jiggled her buttocks, and blew air on her genitalia. “It was not healing, it was disgusting,” she said.
Bowden’s attorney is fighting Gellert’s story, and showed the Times a series of texts between Bowden and Gellert, in which Gellert thanked him for the healing session and called the massage “gentle and authentic and loving.”
“My client vehemently denies that any inappropriate or nonconsensual touching occurred at any time,” Bowden’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, said.
Encouraging victims to “speak their truth” is a fundamental principle of the Time’s Up movement.
Borders reportedly brought the allegations to the Time’s Up board, who agreed the situation nullified her ability to lead the movement.
“[Her] role as the president of Time’s Up was in conflict with being a mother who was taking active steps to defend her son,” a source familiar with Borders’ resignation said. “Lisa’s decision to step down was the right one for her — and for the organization.”
Borders is also set to deliver the commencement address at Duke University in May.
“We are so delighted that Lisa Borders will return to Duke our as commencement speaker,” Duke President Vincent Price said in the school’s announcement. “As the president and CEO of TIME’S UP, she is the leading the way toward building a more just, equitable future for women, a mission that she has carried with her throughout her career in business, public service, philanthropy and the WNBA.”