The CEO of Time’s Up, the group that was form in the midst of the #MeToo movement and which works to fight sexual harassment in the workplace, has resigned. Now, Newsweek reports, the organization has given a statement as to the reason why.
On Monday, February 18, Lisa Borders announced in a tweet that it is with “deep regret” that she would be stepping down from her role as president and CEO of the organization — just four months after joining — in order to address a family matter that required her “singular focus.”
The organization has now released a statement regarding the situation, via Twitter, one revealing that Borders’ decision to leave was due to sexual assault allegations brought 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,” the statement said.
According to The Los Angeles Times, 31-year-old Celia Gellert accused Lisa’s 36-year-old son Garry “Dijon” Bowden Jr. of assaulting her during a “healing session.”
Gellert claimed that Bowden touched her “in really inappropriate places,” and brushed his clothed but erect penis against her during the session on January 21, making her feel “violated.” She claimed that he continued to touch her — even after telling him she didn’t feel well — and that he repetitively told her to “trust” him.
“It was not healing, it was disgusting,” Gellert told The Los Angeles Times.
???? When Lisa Borders announced her resignation this week as #TimesUp CEO, she cited a need “to address family concerns."— LAT Entertainment (@latimesent) February 22, 2019
But The Times has learned that she found herself at odds with the core mission, as her son is facing allegations of sexual misconduct https://t.co/SfqpzqFrjd
Gellert further explained in a Facebook post that she chose to come forward with the allegations because she wanted to be strong, and wanted to help prevent something similar from happening to others.
Bowden’s attorney, Alan Jackson, disputed the claims. He reportedly showed The Los Angeles Times a text exchange between the two, in which Gellert thanked Bowden for the session, which he also said that she requested.
“My client vehemently denies that any inappropriate or nonconsensual touching occurred at any time,” Jackson said.
Gellert’s post regarding the incident went live on Thursday, February 14, in the private Facebook group “Inspired Women of Los Angeles.” The post was made three weeks after the alleged incident happened. Four days later, Lisa’s resignation with the Time’s Up organization was announced. The Los Angeles Times reported that Gellert went to the police on Wednesday.
“With gratitude for her work, TIME’S UP accepts and supports Lisa Borders’ decision to resign as president and CEO,” the organization said in Monday’s statement, regarding her choice.
The organization’s COO, Rebecca Goldman, is currently serving as interim CEO until a replacement is found.