GOOD Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos “intervened” to get a staffer a pay raise and promotion after she accused the show’s producer of sexual assault, her latest court filing has revealed.
The U.S. Sun can exclusively reveal that Kirstyn Crawford praised George, 62, several times in her new appeal brief filed this month.
ABCLead anchor George Stephanopoulos had intervened to secure a staffer a raise and promotion after allegations of sexual harassment came to light[/caption]
TwitterKirstyn Crawford (with her now husband) sued ABC and her former boss over sexual harassment and assault claims[/caption]
Kirstyn, 33, sued ABC News and her boss, former executive producer Michael Corn, 54, in 2021 over her allegations that she was sexually harassed and was once assaulted by him during a work trip years prior.
Her initial case was dismissed, but she is fighting again on appeal.
Kirstyn alleged that her former boss “repeatedly refused to promote her for three-and-a-half years following the 2015 assault, until Stephanopoulos intervened on her behalf in or around August 2018.”
She added in her pleading that any positive outcome for her promotion at GMA only happened upon George’s intervention.
According to Kirstyn “every favorable inference, this Court can infer that Stephanopoulos intervened during the limitations period, in or around August 2018, to secure Appellant a promotion and pay raise, because Respondent Corn had denied her a promotion and pay raise at that time.”
Kirstyn’s allegations had a ripple effect at GMA, and it reportedly impacted George’s relationship with co-host Robin Roberts.
ANCHORS AT WAR
In the initial complaint, Kirstyn said she had worked with ABC for eight years and at the time of the filing she was working as the anchor producer for George Stephanopoulos on GMA.
According to a report by The Daily Beast, GMA staffers discussed the suit during a team-wide call in 2021, with lead anchor Robin Roberts remarking: “If this happened to someone on my team, I would have burned the place down.”
Staffers said the comment was directed at George who became “livid” when he heard about Robin’s not-so-subtle remark.
Robin was reportedly incensed about ABC and her co-host’s handling of the situation.
In a statement to The Daily Beast at the time, an ABC News spokesperson said: “Robin and George are fine. She told him personally that she wasn’t referring to him and called the team the next day to reiterate that her comment was not about any one individual.”
WHAT GEORGE KNEW
In her suit, Kirstyn alleged that in November of 2017, “Stephanopoulos called her into his office and explained that he had recently learned from a third party about Corn’s sexual assault of Kirstyn that occurred in Los Angeles in 2015.”
The suit continued that “Stephanopoulos was emotional. He further explained that he would have to inquire internally regarding his reporting obligations.
“Stephanopoulos disclosed the sexual assault to Heather Riley (then Senior Director of Publicity for Good Morning America) and Derek Medina (then Senior Vice President for Business Affairs at ABC News) and was directed to Tanya Menton (a Vice President in ABC’s litigation department),” according to the suit.
“Later, Stephanopoulos again reached out to Crawford and urged Crawford to call Menton and tell her about the assault. Stephanopoulos told Crawford that Menton was expecting Crawford’s call,” according to court papers.
In her complaint, she alleged that she spoke to Riley, who had told her that “reporting the assault and harassment might get ‘messy.’”
It was also noted in the filing that this was the same month that their direct competitors at NBC’s Today Show were embroiled in their own sexual assault and harassment scandals with disgraced anchor Matt Lauer having just been fired.
“Fearing retaliation from Corn and fearing that making a formal complaint would do more harm than good or even result in losing her job, Crawford never called Menton,” she said in her complaint.
KIRSTYN’S CLAIMS AGAINST MICHAEL
Kirstyn alleged that during a work trip to cover the Academy Awards in 2015, an allegedly intoxicated Michael unexpectedly hopped into her Uber to go back to their hotel.
According to the complaint Corn “grabbed Crawford’s hand and told her that he wanted to be able to help her with her career.
“Corn claimed that it was unlikely that Stephanopoulos genuinely cared about Crawford’s career.
“But Corn assured Crawford that he, on the other hand, truly did care about her career.
“Crawford was beyond uncomfortable; she was in a moving vehicle, her boss was forcibly touching her, and she did not know how to extract herself safely from the situation.
“Corn did not stop there. He grabbed Crawford’s head and pulled it into his chest and kept telling her to ‘just relax’ and kept asking ‘why are you so tense?’ Corn then began kissing Crawford on the head and rubbing her legs,” according to court papers.
“He accused Crawford of being ‘insecure’ and asked her if she had ‘daddy issues.’ Each time Crawford tried to pull away, Corn pulled her right back.”
Back at the hotel, Kirstyn claimed that Michael seemed to be trying to go back to her room and not his.
Thinking she could outmaneuver her new boss, she walked him to his room instead.
Once there, he said he wasn’t feeling well and asked if she had Advil, so she took Advil out of her purse and poured a glass of water and placed it on the nightstand.
According to the lawsuit, “Corn then asked Crawford to sit down with him. Crawford was confused and did not know what she should do.
“She hesitated, but then sat on the edge of the bed. To this day, Crawford feels ashamed that she sat on the edge of that bed and wishes she had just left the room.
“Corn grabbed Crawford’s arm and pulled her down onto the bed and pulled her head onto his chest. Crawford was frozen in fear.
“While holding Crawford’s head against his chest, Corn began kissing the top of Crawford’s head, petting her hair, and stroking her arm. Over and over again, Corn repeated, “Shhhh, let’s just lie here; shhhh, let’s just lie here, shhhh.”
“Thankfully, Crawford was able to pull away from Corn’s grasp and rushed to her room.”
The former ABC staffer said that that night, after freeing herself from her boss, she called her boyfriend, now husband, hysterically crying over what had happened, and told him she never wanted to speak about it again.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
Twitter/Michael CornKirstyn sued her former boss Michael Corn, who was ultimately fired at ABC[/caption]
GettyRobin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos’ allegedly feuded over a sexual assault claim by a staffer[/caption]