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Former ABC ‘Good Morning America’ producer’s sexual assault lawsuit against NewsNation chairman Michael Corn dismissed – Chicago Tribune

A sexual assault lawsuit filed by a former producer of ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​against Michael Corn, now president of NewsNation, was dismissed by a New York judge who ruled that the statute of limitations was expired.

Kirstyn Crawford, 32, a former producer for George Stephanopoulos, filed a lawsuit in August alleging that Corn, as executive producer of ABC’s top-rated morning news show, sexually assaulted her in February 2015 while traveling together in Los Angeles to cover the Academy. Price.

The lawsuit also alleged that Corn harassed her and created a “pervasive toxic work environment” on the network, according to the complaint.

In her decision, released Wednesday, Judge Barbara Jaffe ruled that the alleged sexual assault was outside the three-year statute of limitations and Corn’s alleged subsequent actions, including “mocking the rape allegations made against Donald Trump.” and “making personal or sexist statements”. derogatory comments about employees,” did not support the hostile work environment allegation.

Jaffe wrote that Corn’s alleged behavior constituted “low-key, isolated events which, while gross, misguided, and inappropriate, do not create a hostile work environment, much less an ongoing violation.”

“We are very pleased that Judge Jaffe has recognized that the claims against Michael have no legal basis,” said Meredith Cavallaro, a New York attorney who represented Corn in the case.

Milton Williams, a New York attorney who represents Crawford, said in an email Friday that he plans to appeal the decision, but declined to comment further.

While the judge dismissed the quid pro quo sexual harassment allegations made by Crawford against Corn and ABC, the network did not decide to dismiss the hostile work environment claim, so it remains pending against the company. Crawford left ABC in December, according to Williams.

ABC, which disputed the allegations when filing the lawsuit last year, did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The lawsuit alleged that Corn, who left ABC in April 2021 and joined Chicago-based NewsNation as president the following month, sexually assaulted “at least” two female employees during her 18 years as a rising producer at ABC.

Corn denied the allegations in a statement released by his attorney last year, but was unavailable for comment on Friday.

NewsNation, formerly WGN America, was reinvented as a cable news network in September 2020 under Dallas-based owner Nexstar Media Group. It bought WGN America in 2019 as part of its $4.1 billion acquisition of Chicago-based Tribune Media.

NewsNation spokesman Gary Weitman declined to comment.

rchannick@chicagotribune.com

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Post expires at 2:42pm on Wednesday June 22nd, 2022