ABC News has settled a 26-month long legal dispute with former Good Morning America producer Kristyn Crawford
Crawford had taken legal action against the network after failed to act following her accusations of misconduct and harassment by her former supervisor, ex-GMA executive producer Michael Corn.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the dispute was brought to a formal close when ABC News filed a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice on Friday in New York state court.
The suit was dismissed for both ABC and Corn, who has been adamant of his innocence, even calling Crawford’s claims “fabrications.” He ended up leaving his position at ABC News in April 2021 and later became the president of Nexstar Media-owned cable news channel NewsNation.
In her August 2021 lawsuit, Crawford brought up an incident that occurred between during a 2015 business trip to cover the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
Allegedly, Corn engaged in nonconsensual caressing and kissing during an Uber ride back to their hotel after a party before the awards ceremony. Crawford further claimed that during this distressing encounter, Corn told her that he could help her advance her career.
Crawford also claimed that following the incident, Corn retaliated against her because she did not accept his advances. She also alleged that Corn created a hostile work environment and did things intentionally to stall her career.
More details from the lawsuit brings to light that ABC executives were made aware of her accusations against Corn in 2017, yet they initiated an inquiry into his behavior only after she and another former ABC News producer, Jill McClain, connected in January 2021 and submitted official complaints to the company a month later. ABC News has insisted that they were informed of these allegations as early as 2017.
McClain, who worked as an assistant to anchor Diane Sawyer, alleged that Corn sexually assaulted her on two separate occasions: once in 2010 during a red-eye flight and another incident a year later in a London hotel room.
McClain was not a plaintiff in Crawford’s lawsuit, but she publicly expressed her support for it. Corn has vehemently denied McClain’s allegations. She departed from the Disney-owned network in 2013.
In June 2022, Judge Barbara Jaffe of the New York County Civil Court initially dismissed Crawford’s lawsuit, invoking a three-year statute of limitations for the claims.
Last April, Crawford lodged an appeal against the decision, leading to the court overturning Judge Jaffe’s ruling. The court held that Crawford “has sufficiently alleged facts comprising ‘a single continuing pattern of unlawful conduct,” and ruled in favor of allowing the lawsuit to move forward.