ABC News, Former Producer Settle Sexual-Misconduct Suit

From a Wall Street Journal story by Joe Flint headlined “ABC News, Former Producer Settle Sexual-Misconduct Suit”:

ABC News has resolved a legal fight with former “Good Morning America” producer Kirstyn Crawford, who had accused the network’s news division of turning a blind eye to allegations of misconduct and harassment by Michael Corn, a former senior news executive.

ABC filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice on Friday in New York state court of Crawford’s suit against ABC News and Corn, a former “Good Morning America” executive producer, who Crawford accused of improper sexual contact during a 2015 business trip to Los Angeles. Crawford’s team also signed the filing. The lawsuit has been dismissed for both ABC News and Corn.

Corn has consistently denied Crawford’s accusations, calling them fabrications. He referred a request for comment on the stipulation to dismiss to his lawyer. Corn, who left ABC News in April 2021, is now president of NewsNation, the cable news channel owned by Nexstar Media Group.

In a joint statement, ABC News thanked former producer Crawford for “courageously speaking out about her experience at ABC News,” which is a unit of Disney’s ABC. Ms. Crawford in turn thanked ABC News for its “prompt response to her formal complaint in 2021.”

Terms of the resolution weren’t disclosed.

Crawford filed her suit against ABC News and Corn in August 2021, six years after the alleged incident occurred.

In the suit, she said ABC officials were aware of the alleged incident in 2017 but failed to act. She made a formal complaint against Corn in February 2021 along with another former ABC News employee—Jill McClain—who alleged she had been assaulted by Corn in 2010 and 2011. McClain wasn’t a plaintiff in the suit. Corn denied McClain’s accusations.

ABC News said at the time it disputed the claims by Crawford that it ignored allegations against Corn. At the time of Corn’s April 2021 departure, neither ABC nor Corn commented on the circumstances of his departure.

In a subsequent court filing, ABC said it had investigated Corn and “determined that it was more likely than not” that he had violated company policies.

Crawford left ABC News at the end of 2021.

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