Lisa Borders, then-CEO and president of Time’s Up, was announced last Friday as the speaker for the 2019 Commencement address.
On Monday night, Borders abruptly resigned from her post at Time’s Up “to address family concerns that require my singular focus.” Then on Friday morning, Time’s Up confirmed that Borders’ resignation was due to a sexual assault allegation against her son.
“Time’s Up unequivocally supports all survivors of sexual harassment and abuse,” the organization wrote in an Instagram statement posted early Friday morning. “We agreed that it was the right decision for all parties involved. All our actions were fully guided by our support for survivors.”
Borders informed the Time’s Up leadership of her resignation and the allegation against her son on Friday, Feb. 15—the same day that President Vincent Price announced that she would deliver the commencement address—according to the statement from Time’s Up.
Borders stepped down four days after a Santa Monica woman alleged that Borders’ son had touched her inappropriately during a “healing session,” according to the Los Angeles Times. In a statement from his lawyer to the Los Angeles Times, Garry Bowden Jr.—who is a photographer, podcast host and life coach—“vehemently” denied the allegation of sexual misconduct.
“We remain committed to our mission to create, safe and dignified work for women of all kinds,” Time’s Up wrote in the Instagram statement Friday.
Border's resignation from Time’s Up comes months after she took reins of the organization as its inaugural chief executive in October 2018.
“As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to shepherd its continued development,” Borders wrote in a statement she tweeted at 5:30 p.m Monday. “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 that my efforts will continue to resonate.”
The LA Times reported that Borders did not respond to "repeated and detailed" requests for comment from them, and NBC News said that she did not immediately return a request for comment. An attempt by The Chronicle to reach Borders by email for comment bounced back.
Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, responded no when asked Friday afternoon if the allegation changed the statement he issued when her resignation was first announced or her upcoming speech at Commencement.
“Lisa Borders is an extraordinary leader and person with many friends at Duke who support her and her family,” Schoenfeld wrote to The Chronicle when Borders’ departure was announced earlier this week. “We look forward to welcoming Lisa as Duke’s commencement speaker in May to inspire our new graduates.”
Lexi Kadis, Nathan Luzum and Bre Bradham contributed to this report.
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Editor's note: The headline was updated to clarify the allegation.