It appears that “time’s up” for Lisa Borders, the now-former president and chief executive officer of the Time’s Up movement against sexual harassment and assault.
On Monday the former Women’s National Basketball Association president and Coca-Cola vice president of global community affairs stepped down from Time’s Up to “address family concerns,” according to statements released by both her and the organization:
An in-depth report published by the Los Angeles Times three days later revealed that her “family concerns” were far more troubling than she or Time’s Up had made them sound.
It turns out that days earlier a 31-year-old Santa Monica woman named Celia Gellert had alleged on Facebook that Borders’ son, Garry “Dijon” Bowden Jr., had engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior during a so-called “healing session” massage.
“Celia Gellert told The Times that Borders’ son, a photographer, podcast host and life coach … 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,” the Times reported.
A picture of Bowden may be seen below, courtesy Borders’ Instagram feed:
In the alleged victim’s Facebook post, she wrote that she chose to go public “because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
“And I want to be strong and stand my ground and speak my truth,” she added, echoing the Time’s Up movement’s slogan/catchphrase.
Hours after the publication of the Times’ report, the Time’s Up movement released another statement with additional details about Borders’ abrupt departure.
“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,” the organization wrote.
It’s unclear why the organization lied. Borders stepped down Monday, not Friday. And nowhere in the original statements by either her or Time’s Up was her son’s sexual assault allegations mentioned.
A source within the organization did confirm to the 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.”
It’s not clear whether this means the organization believes she should have thrown her son under the bus.
Bowden has for his part denied the allegations. His attorney, Alan Jackson, showed the paper a text message from Gellert in which she thanked his client after the “healing session,” calling the massage “gentle and authentic and loving.”
“My client vehemently denies that any inappropriate or nonconsensual touching occurred at any time,” Jackson said.
Borders’ son would not be the first man to ever be falsely accused of sexual assault. Nor would he be the first man to be rightly accused and convicted of the same or similar.
What’s clear is that for the real truth to be found, a police investigation must be performed, and the facts must be laid out for a court of law. This process is called due process, and it’s the cornerstone of Western justice.
The problem is that groups like Time’s Up have sought to distort due process and replace it with a system wherein an accuser is believed by default. Like members of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movement like to say, “Believe all women.”
“We can no longer stand by and tolerate women’s voices not being heard,” Borders herself said when she took over as Time’s Up CEO last November.
The voices of women who report their allegations have in fact been acknowledged and heard loud and clear, despite assertions to the contrary from activists like Borders.
What hasn’t been heard loud and clear is the need for due process. Perhaps the former Time’s Up executive’s newfound “family concerns” will make her more receptive to it?