The CEO of Time's Up, a national organization formed in response to the #MeToo movement, has stepped down following sexual assault allegations leveled against her son.
After four months leading the group, Lisa Borders announced her resignation earlier this week, at first only citing "family concerns" that needed her attention without going into specifics. The Los Angeles Times later uncovered that Borders had resigned her post due to sexual assault allegations a woman had leveled against her son.
Time's Up released an official statement on Friday, acknowledging the circumstances surrounding Borders' departure and reaffirming its mission to support survivors of sexual misconduct.
"On Friday, Lisa Borders informed members of Time's Up leadership that sexual assault allegations had been made against her son in a private forum," the statement, posted to Instagram early Friday morning, reads. "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."
The allegations against Borders' son, 36-year-old Garry Bowden Jr., appeared in a Facebook post on a 31-year-old Santa Monica woman's page, where she wrote about an alleged "healing session" she had with Bowden, during which time she says he pressed his erect penis against her through his clothes, touched her genitals, and kissed her neck.
"...I don’t want it to happen to anyone else,” the woman, Celia Gellert, wrote in the post, according to the LA Times. “And I want to be strong and stand my ground and speak my truth.”
Bowden has denied the allegations through a lawyer, Alan Jackson, who maintains that his client didn't overstepped the bounds of the healing massage the woman, Celia Gellert, had asked he give her. “My client vehemently denies that any inappropriate or nonconsensual touching occurred at any time,” Jackson told the LA Times.
Time's Up is just a little more than one year old, having officially launched in January 2018, on the heels of the national reckoning with sexual misconduct spurred by the sexual assault allegations made against Harvey Weinstein.
Though the group is predominantly made up of women in the entertainment industry—where many of the initial #MeToo stories originated—it aims to help victims of sexual harassment and assault across industries, with the primary arm of the organization being a legal defense fund that distributes money and legal services to women who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them.
Last year, Time's Up broke a GoFundMe record by raising more than $22 million for the fund, making it the single largest fundraiser the site ever hosted. And in the first four months the fund was live, Time's Up reported that more than 2,5000 people had reached out requesting legal aid.
Building on the organization's momentum and working toward these goals, a source familiar with Time's Up and Borders' circumstances told the LA Times, would have been difficult for Borders, given the allegations against her son.
"[Borders'] role as the president of Time’s Up was in conflict with being a mother who was taking active steps to defend her son,” the source said. “Lisa’s decision to step down was the right one for her — and for the organization.”