'Good Morning America': ABC Tried to Quietly Settle Sexual Assault Claims Outside of Court

Disney pulled out all the stops to settle a sexual assault case against a Good Morning America executive producer out of court this summer, according to a bombshell report by The Wall Street Journal. Two women filed a lawsuit against ABC last week, saying they were assaulted by Michael Corn while working under him. Now, we have the details on how far Disney went in trying to avoid the court battle.

The lawsuit was filed by 31-year-old Kristyn Crawford, who claims that Corn kissed her without her consent in 2015 after a work party during her time as an anchor producer on Good Morning America. The other alleged victim is Jill McClain, who claims that Corn grabbed her inappropriately on a work flight in 2010 when they worked together on World News Tonight, then sexually assaulted her the following year. Both allegations came out earlier in 2021 and presumably contributed to Corn's abrupt departure from the company in April. The WSJ report details the professional mediation sessions Disney sought with Crawford and McClain starting in June.

 Disney and ABC were reportedly unsuccessful in settling with the two alleged victims. Crawford wrote in her lawsuit: "Keeping in line with ABC's culture fo sweeping sexual assault under the rug to protect its brand, ABC did not publicly acknowledge Corn's malfeasance."

McClain is not listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit because her allegations fall outside the statute of limitations. However, the document does detail her story. She claims that McClain sat next to her on a flight from L.A. to New York and rubbed her "upper right thigh with his left hand," then "slid his hand from McClain's upper right thigh to her vagina" and rubbed "her vagina, over her jeans."

 The following year, McClain says that Corn drunkenly barged into her hotel room in London while they were both a part of the team covering Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. She claims that he sexually assaulted her then.

 McClain was working primarily for anchor Diane Sawyer, while Crawford was working primarily for George Stephanopoulos. The suit also claims that Stephanopoulos was aware of Crawford's allegations for about 4 years but continued to work with Corn during that time and did not ask for an investigation. According to a report by The Daily Beast, anchor Robin Roberts called Stephanopoulos out for this during a call with the Good Morning America team.

"If this happened to someone on my team, I would have burned the place down," she said. This comment reportedly made Stephanopoulos "livid," but so far, neither he nor ABC or Disney have issued a public comment on the reports.