Insiders say ABC News staffers have been shaken by allegations that a former top producer on Good Morning America sexually assaulted two other producers. In a lawsuit filed in New York on Wednesday, Kirstyn Crawford, a producer for Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos, accuses Michael Corn of assaulting her during a trip to Los Angeles to cover the Academy Awards in 2015, the Guardian reports. She alleges that an intoxicated Corn forcibly touched her during an Uber ride back to their hotel, saying he wanted to help her with her career, and later her grabbed her when she brought Advil to his room as requested.
The lawsuit also alleges that Corn assaulted former ABC News producer Jill McClain on two occasions around a decade ago, including a 2011 incident in London where he allegedly pulled her clothes down and groped her after forcing his way into her hotel room, reports the Wall Street Journal. McClain is not a plaintiff but she is supporting the case. According to the suit, both women filed formal complaints in February this year, triggering an internal investigation. Corn abruptly left the network in April and joined Nexstar Media Group the following month.
The lawsuit also names ABC as a defendant, saying officials learned of the allegations in 2017 but did not investigate them at the time. Sources tell CNN that the lawsuit has jolted staffers at all levels of ABC News. "There is a lot of anger and confusion and people wanting to understand what happened," one insider says. Corn issued a statement saying the allegations from both women are fabrications and he will be defending himself "vigorously," the Journal reports. ABC News says it "disputes the claims made against it and will address this matter in court." (Read more Good Morning America stories.)