ABC News staffer claims she was retaliated against after filing sexual-assault complaint

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The network reportedly did not renew the employee’s contract, instead offering him a six-month extension without any pay increase.

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An ABC News employee claimed that the network retaliated against her after she filed a complaint earlier this year alleging she was sexually assaulted by Michael Korn, who at the time called “Good Morning America”. He had a boss as the top producer of “.

The show’s producer Kirsten Crawford filed a lawsuit against Mr Korn and the network last month. In an amended version of the lawsuit filed Wednesday, she alleged that when she formally filed her complaint with ABC, the network did not renew her three-year contract, instead extending a six-month extension without any escalation. offered.

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In her lawsuit, Ms Crawford alleged that Mr Korn sexually assaulted her during a 2015 reporting trip to Los Angeles. The suit also alleges that former ABC News producer Jill McClain was sexually assaulted by Mr. Korn when the two worked together nearly a decade ago. Ms McClain, who left ABC in 2013, is not a plaintiff in the lawsuit but is supporting Crawford’s case, according to the complaint.

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Mr Korn, who left ABC News in April, has denied wrongdoing and said in a statement that the allegations made by Ms Crawford and McClain are fabricated.

An ABC News spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegation that the network retaliated against Ms Crawford.

The suit also alleged that ABC failed to act on complaints it received about Mr. Korn’s conduct from several women over nearly a decade. ABC News said last month that it “disputes the claims made against it and will address the matter in court.”

Crawford’s formal complaint to ABC in February came six months before the end of her three-year contract as producer for “Good Morning America” ​​anchor George Stephanopoulos, according to the amended lawsuit.

According to the suit, the network typically contacts employees a few months before a contract expires to renegotiate a new contract. In this instance, ABC News did not contact Crawford until July, weeks before her deal expired, the suit said. Ms Crawford is still working at ABC News without a contract.

Although Ms Crawford did not make a formal complaint to ABC until earlier this year, the network became aware of her alleged encounter with Mr Korn in 2017 and failed to investigate the matter, according to the suit. The suit said Mr Stephanopoulos was informed of the alleged incident by a third party and reported to ABC management. Mr Stephanopoulos has said the depiction of his actions in the suit is accurate.

According to people familiar with the matter, after Ms. Crawford and Ms. McClain made their complaint to ABC, the network conducted an investigation and Mr. Korn was ousted. The Wall Street Journal reported that ABC also held unsuccessful mediation talks with the two women in June.


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