Head of Time's Up Resigns over Allegations against her Son

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Lisa Borders announced her resignation this week as the inaugural chief executive of Time's Up after a Santa Monica woman alleged that Borders' 36-year-old son had been sexually inappropriate with her, it was reported today.

In announcing her resignation, Borders cited a need ``to address family concerns that require my singular focus,'' the Los Angeles Times reported.

Borders, 61, did not explain the circumstances behind her abrupt exit, which came after just four months on the job. But The Times has learned that Borders suddenly found herself at odds with the core mission of Time's Up because of a desire to stand by a man -- her son -- facing allegations of sexual misconduct.

Borders stepped down four days after a 31-year-old Santa Monica woman alleged in a Facebook post that Borders' son had been sexually inappropriate with her. People familiar with the situation who were not authorized to comment said Borders quickly brought the allegations to the attention of the Time's Up board. The group and Borders, these people said, soon recognized that she was in an untenable position.

Celia Gellert told The Times that Borders' son, a photographer, podcast host and life coach named Garry ``Dijon'' Bowden Jr., offered her a ``healing session.'' 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.

An attorney for Bowden, Alan Jackson, disputed Gellert's account, saying that Bowden was giving a healing massage that Gellert had requested. He showed The Times a text exchange 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.

Gellert went public with her experience on Facebook ``because I don't want it to happen to anyone else,'' she said. ``And I want to be strong and stand my ground and speak my truth.''

Encouraging victims to ``speak their truth'' is a key tenet of the #MeToo movement and Time's Up. But the interaction between Gellert and Bowden illustrates the complexities that can arise with sexual misconduct claims, the Times noted. The situation also demonstrates how a person's loyalties can be divided, particularly when a loved one faces serious allegations.

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.''

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