Lisa Borders stepped down as the president and CEO of Time’s Up this week. The initial statement released by the organisation on 18th February said Borders had to “address family concerns that require my singular focus,” but now it is reported that those concerns are sexual misconduct allegations against her son.
Four days before Borders’ resignation, Gellert wrote in a private Facebook group called Inspired Women of Los Angeles to “stay far away” from Bowden. She claims that Bowden, a photographer, podcast host, and life coach, touched her genitalia, kissed her neck, and brushed his erect but clothed penis against her during a “healing session.”
Bowden is denying the claims. “My client vehemently denies that any inappropriate or non-consensual touching occurred at any time,” his attorney Alan Jackson said.
Time’s Up was founded in 2017 to fight for “safe, fair and dignified work” for women, and Borders was brought on to be their first CEO in October 2018. She was previously the president of the Women's National Basketball Association and the vice president of global community affairs at The Coca-Cola Company. She also served as chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation, according to a press release.
An unidentified source told the L.A. Times that 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, ”and that “Lisa’s decision to step down was the right one for her — and for the organisation.”
After news of the allegations became public, Time’s Up released a second statement:
“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. 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.”
Borders was seen as Time’s Up’s saving grace amid reports that the organisation was struggling to organise internally before bringing her on. In a recent episode of Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Conversations, Winfrey celebrated when Borders joined the team. “Everybody said, ‘Hallelujah, we have found her!’” Winfrey said.
Without Borders at the helm, the organisation will have to find a new leader.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.