Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Former Top ABC News Producer Accused of Sexual Assault

An ABC News staffer filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Michael Corn, the former top producer of “Good Morning America,” alleging he sexually assaulted her and fostered a toxic work environment, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Kirstyn Crawford, a producer on the morning show, alleged that Corn assaulted her in 2015 during a business trip to Los Angeles, according to the suit, which was filed in New York state court.

The suit also alleges that former ABC News producer Jill McClain was sexually assaulted by Corn when the two worked at ABC’s “World News Tonight” roughly a decade ago. McClain isn’t a plaintiff in the suit, but is supporting Crawford’s case, according to the complaint.

Michael Corn
The suit also names ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co., as a defendant, alleging the company received complaints about Corn’s conduct from several women, going back roughly a decade, but failed to take disciplinary action.

ABC officials learned of  Crawford’s allegations in 2017, but only launched an investigation into Corn’s conduct after Crawford and McClain filed formal complaints to the company in February of this year, according to the suit.

Corn left the company in April. Neither ABC nor Corn provided a reason for his exit. In May, Corn joined Nexstar Media Group Inc. as president of NewsNation, the three-hour evening national newscast that airs on the WGN-TV cable channel.

Crawford, who is a producer for “Good Morning America” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos, is seeking unspecified damages, citing emotional and physical distress, among other fallout from the alleged incident.

In the suit, she alleges that an inebriated Mr. Corn assaulted her during a trip to Los Angeles in 2015 to cover the Academy Awards. During an Uber ride back to their hotel after a party, Mr. Corn forcibly touched Ms. Crawford, kissing her head and rubbing her legs, telling her he wanted to help her with her career, according to the suit. As a producer, Crawford worked under Mr. Corn.

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