Former Top Producer of ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ Michael Corn Accused of Sexual Assault in Lawsuit
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.
Kirstyn Crawford, a producer on the morning show, alleged that Mr. 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 lawsuit claims that while they were in an Uber going back to their hotel, “Corn grabbed Crawford’s hand and told her that he wanted to be able to help her with her career … He grabbed Crawford’s head and pulled it into his chest and kept telling her to ‘just relax’ and kept asking ‘Why are you tense?’”
The lawsuit alleged that Corn then began kissing Crawford on the head and rubbing her legs. He allegedly accused Crawford of being “insecure” and asked her if she had “daddy issues”.
The lawsuit also alleges that Corn assaulted another staffer, Jill McClain, when the two worked at ABC’s World News Tonight show approximately a decade ago. McClain is not a plaintiff but is supporting Crawford’s case.
Corn has denied all the allegations.
According to the lawsuit, Corn assaulted McClain on two separate occasions while traveling for ABC business, including groping her on a flight and in a hotel room.
In addition to the sexual assault allegations, the lawsuit also accused Corn of creating a toxic work environment and alleges that the network was aware of the complaints towards Corn as early as 2017 but did not take action.
“Instead, ABC looked the other way, elevated Corn through the ranks due to his commercial success as a producer, and facilitated the hostile workplace that Corn cultivated through his influence over subordinates’ careers, sexual harassment, gaslighting, and anger management issues,” the lawsuit said.
Corn left the network abruptly in April, with neither ABC nor himself providing a reason for his exit. In May, he joined Nexstar Media Group as the president of news.
In a statement, Corn wrote that he vehemently denies the allegations. “Kirstyn Crawford’s claims are demonstrably false … Jill McClain’s allegations are equally as fabricated … I will be pursuing all available legal remedies against these women and defending myself vigorously,” he said.
An ABC spokesperson said: “We are committed to upholding a safe and supportive work environment and have a process in place that thoroughly reviews and addresses complaints that are made. ABC News disputes the claims made against it and will address this matter in court.”