Time’s Up CEO resigned after sexual assault allegations were made against her son, group says
(CNN) — Less than four months into the job, Lisa Borders has resigned as the president and CEO of Time’s Up, which aims to combat workplace sexual misconduct, following sexual misconduct claims against her son, according to the organization.
On Friday, Time’s Up released a statement regarding the reason for Borders’ departure.
“Last Friday, Lisa Borders informed members of TIME’S UP leadership that sexual assault allegations had been made against her son in a private forum. Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up and we agreed that it was the right decision for all parties involved. All of our actions were fully guided by our support for survivors.”
“We respect the rights of all survivors to own their own stories,” the statement continued. “We strongly encourage anyone who has experienced sexual harassment, assault or related retaliation in the workplace or in trying to advance their careers to contact the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund for assistance. We remain committed to our mission to create, safe and dignified work for women of all kinds.”
The Los Angeles Times reported early Friday that they had spoken to Celia Gellert, a yoga instructor who is accusing Borders’ son, Garry “Dijon” Bowden Jr., of touching her inappropriately during a “healing” massage.
CNN reached Gellert, who corroborated the account in the Times and said, “I (am speaking out) so no other men or women are harmed. … I would love an apology, that would be wonderful, just to be acknowledged as a human being. We are human beings and we make mistakes, you made a mistake. He should not be posing as a healer and touching them naked. When this person just fondles your body because you are not expecting it, it was shocking and very traumatizing.”
Bowden Jr. claims on his website to be a “multi-passionate creative entrepreneur dedicated to helping you ignite your passion, unleash your gifts, and live in joy.” According to the Times, Bowden Jr., was offering four experiences on his website that are no longer available, including a two-hour, $333 treatment called Shakti Invocation, “which uses intuitive touch, crystals and chocolate to calm the nervous system and awaken and energize your inner Shakti.”
CNN has reached out to Bowden Jr.’s attorney, Alan Jackson, for comment.
But he told the Times, “My client vehemently denies that any inappropriate or nonconsensual touching occurred at any time.”
The announcement of Borders’ departure came earlier this week, first in a tweet by Borders but the reason for her exit was not yet known.
“As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to shepherd its continued development. Unfortunately, it is with deep regret that I must resign from Time’s Up to address family concerns that require my singular focus. I appreciate the opportunity to support this mission and I hope my efforts will continue to resonate.”
CNN reached out to Time’s Up for further comment but has not heard back.
The news of Borders’ abrupt resignation came three days after she tweeted about appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s “SuperSoul Conversations” on the OWN network and after announcing she would be the upcoming commencement speaker at her alma mater, Duke University.
Time’s Up was created by more than 1,000 women in entertainment who joined forces to combat workplace sexual misconduct across industries. It marked its one-year anniversary January 1.
Before joining Time’s Up, Borders was the president of the Women’s National Basketball Association and the former vice president of global community affairs at The Coca-Cola Company.