An ABC News staffer is claiming that the community retaliated in opposition to her after she filed a sexual assault lawsuit against her then-boss, Michael Corn, who was the highest producer of the community’s marquee present, “Good Morning America.”
Kristyn Crawford, a producer on the present, sued Corn, who allegedly sexually assaulted her, and ABC, claiming the community “swept” that incident and different complaints in opposition to the high-powered producer “under the rug” when it was delivered to their consideration.
Now, in an up to date model of the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Crawford claims that after she formally registered her criticism at ABC, the community didn’t renew her three-year contract, providing as a substitute a six-month extension with no elevate.
In her lawsuit, Crawford, 31, a producer for anchor George Stephanopoulos on “GMA,” says the present’s then-senior government producer Michael Corn sexually assaulted her after a piece occasion when he was drunk throughout a reporting journey to Los Angeles in 2015.
The suit, which is filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, additionally alleges that former ABC News producer Jill McClain was sexually assaulted by Corn when the 2 labored collectively roughly a decade in the past. McClain, who left ABC in 2013, isn’t a plaintiff within the suit however is supporting Crawford’s case, the criticism mentioned.
Corn, who exited ABC News in April, has denied any wrongdoing. ABC News didn’t reply to requests looking for touch upon Crawford’s allegation that the community retaliated in opposition to her.
The lawsuit additionally claims that ABC compelled Corn, who’d managed “GMA” since 2014, to resign, nevertheless “keeping in line with ABC’s culture of sweeping sexual assault under the rug to protect its brand, ABC did not publicly acknowledge Corn’s malfeasance.”
This contains a number of complaints over roughly a decade by girls at ABC, in addition to Crawford’s description of the 2015 incident in LA that began in an Uber after a piece occasion with the staff overlaying the Oscars, in accordance with the suit.
Despite her efforts to “pull away,” a drunken Corn pulled her head into his chest and started kissing her and rubbing her legs whereas in an Uber collectively. During the journey, he “grabbed Crawford’s hand and told her that he wanted to be able to help her with her career,” the courtroom papers mentioned.
When they acquired to the lodge, Corn allegedly pretended to lose his room key in a “devious ploy” to get into Crawford’s room. In an try and divert him from her room, Crawford accompanied Corn to his room as a substitute, in accordance with the suit.
She sat on the nook of his mattress at his invitation, the suit mentioned, including that he “pulled her down onto the bed and pulled her head onto his chest” earlier than he kissed the highest of her head, petted her hair and stroked her arm.
She managed to return to her room, however her boss would later barge into her room the place she begged him to depart, which he ultimately did, the suit mentioned.
ABC discovered of the alleged assault in 2017, however courtroom papers declare the community “did nothing to protect plaintiff or removed Corn from his position of power.” The suit mentioned Stephanopoulos was informed by a 3rd occasion in regards to the alleged incident and knowledgeable ABC administration. According to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the lawsuit, Stephanopoulos has mentioned the suit’s depiction of his actions is correct.
Crawford mentioned within the suit that she didn’t make a “formal complaint” to ABC till earlier this yr in February. According to the up to date lawsuit, that criticism got here six months earlier than the top of her three-year contract as a producer for “GMA” anchor George Stephanopoulos.
The community historically approaches staff a number of months earlier than a contract expires to renegotiate a brand new contract, the lawsuit mentioned. But on this occasion, ABC News didn’t contact Crawford till July, “approximately four months after Crawford made a formal complaint, and just one month before her 2018 contract was set to expire,” courtroom papers mentioned.
Instead of providing the producer one other three-year contract, ABC “merely offered a six-month extension and did not offer a nominal salary increase,” the suit mentioned. Crawford is at present working at ABC News and not using a contract.
Sources informed The Journal that after Crawford and McClain, who was allegedly assaulted by Corn on an airplane in 2010 and in a London hotel room in 2011, made complaints to ABC, the community carried out an investigation and pushed him out. The newspaper additionally reported that additionally held “unsuccessful mediation” talks with the 2 girls in June.
When information of the lawsuit got here out in August, newly-hired ABC News president Kim Godwin called for an independent investigation into how the community dealt with the allegations, however CNN recently reported that her name for a probe have “infuriated” her bosses at ABC-parent Disney.