An ABC News employee and producer for George Stephanopoulos is suing the network and former Good Morning America top producer Michael Corn for alleged sexual assault.
In her lawsuit – filed in New York state court on Wednesday and obtained by Deadline – Kirstyn Crawford alleges that Corn assaulted her in February of 2015 while they were in Los Angeles, California, to cover the Academy Awards.
The lawsuit claims that during a shared Uber ride to their hotel, Corn pulled Crawford's head into his chest "and began kissing her and rubbing her legs. Each time Crawford tried to pull away, Corn pulled her right back."
The filing also alleges that he came to her hotel room later "for the express purpose of attempting to have sex with her."
Additionally, the lawsuit accused Corn of sexually assaulting Jill McClain – a former ABC News employee – on two separate occasions while they were traveling.
Crawford accused Corn and ABC of fostering a toxic work environment, alleging that the network ignored complaints about the top producer, including her own.
"As early as 2017, ABC learned of Corn's sexual assault on Plaintiff. Yet ABC did nothing to protect Plaintiff or remove Corn from his position of power," the lawsuit reads. "Indeed, Plaintiff has reason to believe that ABC was also aware of other women who complained against Corn. 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."
Corn abruptly exited ABC News in April, soon landing at Nexstar Media Group's NewsNation as the president of news. At the time, no reason was given for his swift departure.
In a statement via his attorney, Corn denied the allegations and implied he might even take legal action of his own, stating he has email exchanges to prove they are false.
"I vehemently deny any allegations that I engaged in improper sexual contact with another woman," he said. "Kirsten Crawford's claims are demonstrably false – and I am providing contemporaneous emails to prove it. Hours after the supposed incident, Ms. Crawford offered to bring me coffee and breakfast to my hotel room and asked for my hotel room number because she didn't know it – the very same room where she now claims this incident occurred. The same day, she repeatedly offered for me to share a car with her. And the same day she emailed me, after I helped counsel her through a work problem, 'why are you so great?' These are not the words and actions of a woman who had been assaulted hours before."
He added, "I will be pursing all available legal remedies against these women and defending myself vigorously."