On Monday, Lisa Borders, the CEO of Time’s Up, resigned to attend to “family concerns that require my singular focus.” According to a new report from the Los Angeles Times, Borders stepped down because her 36-year-old son was accused of sexual misconduct.
Borders’s resignation allegedly stemmed from the conflict between running an organization that supports sexual abuse survivors at the same time as navigating these allegations with 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,” said one of the knowledgeable people, who asked not to be identified. “Lisa’s decision to step down was the right one for her — and for the organization.”
In a statement, Time’s Up said it “agreed that it was the right decision for all parties involved.”
Borders’s son, Garry “Dijon” Bowden Jr., is a photographer, podcast host, and life coach, according to the LA Times. His accuser, Celia Gellert, is a yoga instructor who says she met Bowden on the yoga and wellness circuit and considered him a friend and colleague.
Gellert, who practices reiki, says she asked Bowden for a “healing session,” but felt uncomfortable when he began to “touch [her] in really inappropriate places.” Gellert told the Times she began to cry on the massage table:
“I told him I didn’t feel well and he kept saying, ‘Trust me,’” she said. He “kissed the back of my neck,” she said, adding that he said, “Don’t worry if you are afraid.” She said he then brushed his penis over her arm, jiggled her buttocks and blew air on her private area.
Gellert and Bowden texted about the massage over the next few days; at one point, Gellert thanked him for the session and called it “gentle and authentic and loving.” But Gellert later explained that parts of the session left her feeling “violated”:
Two days after the session, Gellert reached out again to say she was uncomfortable with what had transpired. Bowden wrote back, “When you say uncomfortable, do you mean your stomach still hurts?” She told The Times that her discomfort stemmed from his touching of her private areas.
“I do feel a little surprised to that you’re saying you feel uncomfortable with the process [because] you said multiple times during and after how beautiful and supportive it was,” Bowden wrote in the text exchange. She responded that while portions of the session worked for her, “I’m still left feeling uncomfortable and violated.”
Bowden’s lawyer said “My client vehemently denies that any inappropriate or nonconsensual touching occurred at any time.”
The LA Times states that Gellert “said she reported the incident to the Santa Monica Police Department on Wednesday.”