Lisa Borders Was Time’s Up CEO. Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Her Son Have Prompted Her To Resign

Written by Ann Brown
Lisa Borders
WNBA president Lisa Borders addresses media members before Game 1 of the WNBA basketball finals between the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Lisa Borders, CEO of Time’s Up, a group that seeks equality and safety in the workplace for women, has resigned.

Borders, 61, had been on the job just four months and did not explain the circumstances behind her abrupt exit.

But the Los Angeles Times discovered that she resigned four days after a 31-year-old Santa Monica woman alleged that Borders’ son had been sexually inappropriate with her.

According to people close to the situation, Borders immediately brought the allegations to the attention of the Time’s Up board. “Borders volunteered to step down, and group members accepted her resignation, a second individual said,” the LA Times reported.

Yoga instructor Celia Gellert claims that Borders’ son, a wellness podcast host/life coach named Garry “Dijon” Bowden Jr., touched her inappropriately during a  “healing session” massage. “She said she was surprised and felt ‘violated when, she alleged, he touched her genitalia, kissed her neck and brushed his erect but clothed penis against her body during the session,” the L.A. Times reported.

But an attorney for Bowden, Alan Jackson, denies Gellert’s claim. He presented to The Times a text message in which Gellert thanked Bowden afterward, calling the massage “gentle and authentic and loving.”

“My client vehemently denies that any inappropriate or nonconsensual touching occurred at any time,” Jackson said.

In later texts, however, Gellert told Bowden, 36, she felt violated.

Gellert went on to report the incident to the Santa Monica Police Department.

In an official statement Borders, formerly the president of the WNBA professional basketball league and a former senior executive at Coca-Cola Co., said “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to shepherd its continued development. Unfortunately, it is with deep regret that I must resign from Time’s Up to address family concerns that require my singular focus. I appreciate the opportunity to support this mission and I hope my efforts will continue to resonate.”

In a statement printed by Page Six, Time’s Up said: “With gratitude for her work, Time’s Up accepts and supports Lisa Borders’ decision to resign as president and CEO. We know that it is the right decision for Lisa as well as the organization. Our COO, Rebecca Goldman, will serve as interim CEO while we conduct an executive search. We remain steadfast in our mission to create safe, fair, and dignified work for women of all kinds.”

“Time’s Up started with more than 300 Hollywood women, including Shonda Rhimes, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon, who vowed to raise their voices on behalf of women who lack power. Over the last 14 months, the group has expanded its campaign for gender parity and workplace safety across disciplines. Its legal defense fund has raised more than $22 million to help victims pursue their claims of harassment and abuse,” The Times reported.