Celebrity-Backed Sexual Assault Charity Spent Most of Cash on Salaries, Luxury Trips
Tax filings show Time's Up spent next to nothing of donations on helping victims
A charity, set up by Hollywood celebrities to help victims of sexual assaults, has spent most of the millions of dollars in donations it received on salaries and luxury trips, according to tax filings.
The organization, Time's Up, was set up to fight sexual harassment in the workplace in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
However, only a fraction of the cash it received was spent on legal costs to help victims in its first year, records show.
In its first year of operation, tax filings show that the charity, which is made up of the Time's Up Foundation and Time's Up Now Inc., raised $3,670,219 in 2018.
Less than 10 percent of the donations was spent on helping those women who have experienced sexual harassment, however.
Only $312,001 was spent on the victims' legal defense fund while $1,407,032 was spent on salaries, filings show.
More than $157,000 was blasted on conferences at luxury resorts, and a further $58,395 was spent on travel, according to The Daily Mail.
The organization brought in Hollywood heavyweights during the early days of its operation with Reese Witherspoon, Amy Schumer, and Brie Larson holding positions on its board.
The tax filings detail the mission of Time's Up Now as being: "to promote safe, fair, and dignified work for women of all kinds.
"We work to make sure that women are free from harassment and other forms of discrimination on the job, have equal opportunity for economic security and can achieve the highest positions of power wherever they work."
But according to the New York Post, huge amounts were spent on executive salaries instead of legal support.
Lisa Borders was recruited to head Time's Up but only spent four months at the organization after her 36-year-old son was accused of sexual misconduct.
Nevertheless, the CEO managed to pull in $342,308 for her salary.
The Chief Marketing Officer, Rachel Terrace, drew a salary of $295,000 for her efforts during the organization's first year.
And treasurer Rebecca Goldman drew a salary of $255,327.
Tax filings detail how "3,000 individuals" were helped by the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund between January and June 2018 at a cost of $1,747,635.
But most of the defense fund money came from grants that had been made to the Women's Law Center, according to the Post.
Only a small proportion came from the Time's Up organizations with the Time's Up Foundation donating $132,575 to the fund and Time's Up Now, the lobbying end of the charity, handing over $179,426.
Aside from executive compensation, tax filings show that Time's Up Now, which is the lobbying arm of the organization, was noted to have spent $157,155 on conferences "designed to build community and spark critical conversations about gender equity," according to the Post.
The conferences included a retreat at a luxury resort and spa in Ojai in June 2018 where a room for the night costs upwards of $400-a-night.
Despite having been in existence six months, those at the conference struggled to decide what the organization's mission statement should be, according to one attendee who spoke to the New York Post.
It later changed from "Let's clean up Hollywood" to "We're going to help all workers."
Aside from the pricey conferences at country retreats, the organization details in its tax filings how it spent $288,007 on advertising, and $940,328 on legal costs.
A huge chunk of that - $719,522 - went to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, a law firm that frequently lobbies on Capitol Hill.
A total of $112,435 was given to Rally, a public relations company, according to the tax filings.
Times Up has responded to the Mail and provided a lengthy statement regarding the allegations from Amanda Harrington, Vice President of Communications of TIME’S UP Now and the TIME’S UP Foundation.
"TIME'S UP Now raised millions of dollars for the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund by directing people to a GoFundMe page and to make significant pledges in 2018, all of which went directly to the program, which has been housed and administered at the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) Fund LLC from the beginning in order to jumpstart direct support for survivors in need as quickly as possible," the statement reads.
"Because 2018 was a start-up year for these organizations, it follows that our 2018 expenses were mostly related to our start-up costs, such as legal costs, and recruiting staff that would establish initiatives that would be launched in 2019, such as TIME'S UP Now's successful push for the TIME'S UP Safety Agenda in New York, TIME'S UP Foundation's research and policy division, the TIME'S UP Impact Lab, and our Who's in the Room mentorship program, among others.
"The nonprofit sector, like many women-dominated fields, has long-grappled with under-compensation of professional employees and staff," the statement continues.
"Our compensation and benefits structures are competitive, both to reflect our commitment to the values of fair and equal pay and to attract and retain the very best talent to work to address some of the toughest, most entrenched barriers to gender equity."
Time's Up, which is based in California, was formed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in 2017, which saw famous names including Oprah Winfrey speak out alongside journalist and activist Gloria Steinem and actresses Jessica Chastain, Rosanna Arquette, and Mira Sorvino.
Sorvino, who now sits on Time's Up "global leadership board," detailed how Weinstein sexually harassed her in a hotel room in 1995.
She helped spark the Me Too Movement, along with actress Alyssa Milano who tweeted and urged women to speak up if they had been sexually assaulted.
Meanwhile, Oprah's rallying cry at the Golden Globes in January 2018 saw her make an impassioned speech from which the Time's Up name was conjured.
"For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men.
"But, their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up."
It led to thousands of women sharing details of the times they had been sexually assaulted.