A New York State Supreme Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against former ABC News producer Michael Corn who allegedly sexually assaulted a subordinate and created a toxic work environment at ABC News.
In August last year, Kirstyn Crawford, a producer who worked with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, alleged that Corn, the former top producer on ‘Good Morning America’, assaulted her and a another staff member, Jill McClain, on different occasions over a period. of several years. Both women reported to Corn, who also for a time oversaw “World News Tonight.” Crawford also alleged that she lost opportunities for advancement at work after she began trying to avoid Corn. After abruptly leaving ABC News last year, Corn was named president of news for NewsNation, a news startup backed by big U.S. station owner Nexstar Media Group.
“We are very pleased that the Court has found that the claims made against Michael are unfounded,” Meredith Cavallaro, an attorney who represents Corn, said by email.
The Los Angeles Times previously reported details of the case’s dismissal.
In a court filing, the judge hearing the case said Crawford failed to prove a hostile work environment existed. Because the statute of limitations for the alleged assault has expired, the basis of the case was to prove that a hostile work environment developed in the years that followed.
The suit raised eyebrows. Crawford had claimed Corn assaulted her in 2015 while on a trip to Los Angeles to cover the Oscars. The lawsuit also alleged that Stephanopoulos heard about some of the claims against Corn from Crawford in 2017, disclosed them to executives, and urged Crawford to contact an ABC attorney to discuss them further. But Crawford, “fearing that filing a formal complaint might do more harm than good or even cause him to lose his job,” did not follow through, according to the lawsuit.
The original lawsuit also brought charges against ABC News, and the judge dismissed some of them as well.