The Walt Disney Co. held mediation talks with a current and former employee who alleged that a former top producer for Good Morning America sexually assaulted them.
One of the women, Kirstyn Crawford, a network producer, filed a lawsuit last week against ABC and Michael Corn, who headed GMA until his abrupt departure in April. She accused Corn of sexually assaulting her during a trip to Los Angeles in 2015, when the show was covering the Academy Awards.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the mediation talks, which were held in June but unsuccessful, and a source familiar with the situation confirmed the proceedings. Generally, mediation is held as a way to resolve legal claims outside the courts, typically with a retired judge presiding.
A spokesperson for ABC had no comment. Last week, when the suit was filed, the network issued a statement in which it said that it “disputes the claims made against it and will address this matter in court.”
In her lawsuit, Crawford claims that the network learned of the alleged assault in 2017 yet “did nothing to protect Plaintiff or remove Corn from his position of power.”
Her lawsuit also cites claims made by Jill McClain, a former ABC News staffer, over incidents that occurred in 2010, when she and Corn worked on World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.
Corn denies the allegations, calling them “demonstrably false.” He has cited friendly emails he received from Crawford the morning after the alleged assault. He also said that McClain invited him to her wedding after the alleged incident with her, and “repeatedly communicated to me and my wife that she missed me after leaving her position at ABC.”
Corn is now president at Nexstar’s NewsNation.
On Sunday, ABC News announced that Simone Swink has been named executive producer of Good Morning America, filling Corn’s role.
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