Disney reportedly held failed mediation talks with 2 women who accused a former ABC producer of sexual assault

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Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Disney held unsuccessful mediation talks with two women who accused a former ABC producer of sexual assault. Belinda Jiao/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Disney was said to have mediated with two women accusing a former ABC producer of sexual assault.
  • One of the women filed a lawsuit against the former producer Michael Corn.
  • Corn has denied wrongdoing and said he’d defend himself against the claims “vigorously.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Disney tried to hold mediation talks with two women who accused a former ABC producer of sexually assaulting them, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Kirstyn Crawford, a producer for the “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos, filed a lawsuit against the former producer, Michael Corn, on Wednesday.

Two sources told The Journal that Disney held the unsuccessful talks with her and a fellow producer, Jill McClain, in June.

The lawsuit alleges that Corn assaulted Crawford on a work trip to cover the Academy Awards in 2015 and that Corn assaulted McClain 11 years ago.

It also alleges ABC News “knew, or should have known, about the sexual harassment and failed to take
corrective action for many years.”

McClain is not listed as a plaintiff in the suit, but the filing said she supported Crawford’s case to “ensure that Corn never has the chance to prey upon any other women, and that ABC is forced to address the hostile work environment that it has facilitated.”

Corn told The Journal in a statement that he denied any wrongdoing and vowed to defend himself “vigorously.”

Crawford also named ABC as a defendant in the lawsuit, alleging that she made the network aware of her claims against Corn in 2017 but the network “did nothing to protect” her.

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Crawford is seeking unspecified damages to compensate for mental, emotional, and physical distress caused by the alleged incident and what the filing described as a “hostile work environment” Corn created at ABC.

In February, ABC launched an investigation into Corn’s behavior after both Crawford and McClain formally reported their sexual-abuse claims.

Corn left ABC News in April after almost 20 years, though the reason for his departure is unknown, sources told The Journal.

Lawyer Milton Williams, who represents Crawford, told Insider in an emailed statement that “for both Kirstyn, and Jill, who is supporting her, the healing process has begun.”

Disney and ABC did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

Nexstar Media Group, where Corn currently works, also did not immediately responded to Insider’s request for comment.

When the news of the suit broke last week, Nexstar said: “We have no comment on anything that may or may not have happened prior to Mr. Corn’s employment with Nexstar.”

At the same time, ABC News shared a statement with CNN that said: “We are committed to upholding a safe and supportive work environment and have a process in place that thoroughly reviews and addresses complaints that are made.

“ABC News disputes the claims made against it and will address this matter in court.”