Michael Corn, a former veteran producer on Good Morning America, allegedly sexually assaulted a staffer and fostered a toxic work environment, a new lawsuit has claimed.
According to The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news on Wednesday, a producer on the show alleges that Mr Corn assaulted her in 2015 during a business trip to Los Angeles.
In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Mr Corn vehemently denied the claims and any allegation of improper sexual contact, and said he would defend himself “vigorously”.
The complaint was filed on Wednesday in New York and also alleges that another staffer was sexually assaulted by Mr Corn when they worked on the same programme about a decade ago, the newspaper reported. That second staffer isn’t a plaintiff in the lawsuit but is supporting the other producer’s claims.
ABC is also reportedly named as a defendant in the suit, which claims that the company failed to take disciplinary action after receiving several complaints from women about Mr Corn’s alleged conduct. According to The Wall Street Journal, the complaint alleges that officials at ABC learned of the plaintiff’s allegations in 2017 but only launched an investigation after the plaintiff and the other staffer filed formal complaints in February of this year.
ABC News told The Independent: “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.”
Mr Corn was a top producer at Good Morning America. He abruptly left the show in April this year.
“Michael Corn no longer works for ABC News,” the company told Variety in a statement at the time. The publication reported that “many [staffers] were taken aback” by the move.
Last month, Variety reported that ABC was nearing a decision as to Corn’s replacement and was considering “both internal and external candidates”.