“All of our actions were fully guided by our support for survivors.”
The CEO of a prominent new anti-sexual harassment organization abruptly resigned after her own son was accused of sexual assault.
Lisa Borders stepped down last week within 24 hours of telling the leadership of Time’s Up about the allegations against her 36-year-old son. The president and first CEO of the group, which came out of the #MeToo movement, she had been on the job for just three months.
Borders and Time’s Up announced that she was leaving in a joint statement posted to Instagram Monday, but they did not mention the reason. Only on Thursday, after the Los Angeles Times reported on the sexual assault allegations, did Time’s Up release a second statement admitting why Borders had resigned.
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“All of our actions were fully guided by our support for survivors,” the second statement said.
Borders, a former WNBA president, told Time’s Up that she planned to aggressively defend her son, which put her at odds with the group’s stated ethos of believing women who claim sexual abuse, according to The Washington Post.
An unnamed Santa Monica woman told the Los Angeles Times that Borders’ son, a self-described life coach named Garry “Dijon” Bowden Jr., gave her a sexually inappropriate “healing session,” which left her surprised and feeling “violated.” She accused him of touching her genitals, kissing her neck, and brushing his erect penis against her body through his clothes.
Bowden Jr.’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, disputed the woman’s version of events. He shared with The Post text messages that Bowden and the woman exchanged after the session in which the woman thanked his client for the “gentle and authentic loving.”
In an interview with InStyle last month, Borders described her son as her version “2.0,” a “better version [of me] than I would ever be: more competent, confident and compassionate.”
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Times’s Up, which has its own hashtag, was founded last year by women in the increasingly woke entertainment industry . The group been touted by Hollywood actresses at awards shows, with some walking the red carpet wearing black and a Time’s Up pin accompanied by survivors of sexual assault.
The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, housed by the National Women’s Law Center Fund, has helped employees and McDonald’s and Walmart file sexual harassment claims and dispersed about $750,000 in grants to nonprofits that work with low-wage workers who have alleged sexual harassment and workplace retaliation.
In January, the group launched an initiative – #TimesUpX2 and #4PercentChallenge – to get Hollywood studios to commit to hiring women as directors and to double the number of female leaders in other industries.
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