An explosive sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a female TV personality against a seasoned male newscaster rocks Bloomberg, the company owned by former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In a lawsuit obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com, Abigail Doolittle, an on-air news reporter with Bloomberg Television since 2016, alleges she was repeatedly sexually harassed for four years by news anchor Mark Crumpton, who has been with the company for three decades.
Insiders are debating whether it’s a case of the latest MeToo moment at Bloomberg — which has historically struggled with complaints from women in the male-dominated company and now has a new multi-year harassment claim.
Or is it a case of a “newsroom Karen” in which an attractive young white newswoman makes unfounded complaints about an old black news anchor.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) took no action after Doolittle’s initial complaints to the federal agency last year, but signed off on the case in July, giving Doolittle herself her “notice of right to subpoena” in federal court.
Now it may ultimately be up to a jury to decide whether to go to trial.
Reporter Abigail Doolittle, 49, alleges she was sexually harassed for four years by veteran news anchor Mark Crumpton, 62. Doolittle has been an on-air news reporter at Bloomberg Television since 2016, and Crumpton has been with the company for 30 years
“We have taken her claims seriously, investigated them thoroughly and have not found any evidence to support them,” a Bloomberg spokesperson said. Pictured: Bloomberg LP’s international headquarters in New York City
“We have taken her claims seriously, investigated them thoroughly and have not found any evidence to support them,” said Bloomberg LP spokesperson Ty Trippet.
Doolittle, 49, remains an on-air news anchor with Bloomberg TV.
“Through our investigation of more recent complaints from her, we have still not found any evidence to support her claims,” Trippet said.
Bloomberg is owned by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
“However, based on what we assessed, we are deeply concerned that she is, in fact, unfairly attacking her colleague.”
The lawsuit filed by Doolittle in late October at the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan names both Crumpton, 62, and the company as defendants and alleges that the company failed to protect her after filing complaints for many months from late 2020 to mid-2020. brought to their attention. 2021.
In the most explosive claim, Doolittle’s lawsuit cites an alleged “masturbation incident” during a live broadcast she did on Dec. 1, 2020.
Moments in the broadcast that Crumpton stared directly at [Doolittle] while masturbating his genitals over his pants,” the suit read.
But Bloomberg said her story changed over time, and that initially, according to documents the company filed with the EEOC in response to a complaint filed with the federal agency last year, she only said that “Crumpton did something with his tie around his crotch. area while she was in the air.’
And in June, Bloomberg said that when she spoke about the December incident to company HR officials, she said only that she could see Crumpton “out of the corner of her eye” and that she was “not sure what he was doing.” but thought he was doing something ‘around the cross’.
In the lawsuit, she claimed that Crumpton was in her “direct line of sight.”
She said it was part of a series of sexual harassment incidents dating back to at least 2018, when she said Crumpton repeatedly asked her to accompany him on a tropical vacation. She says she repeatedly rejected him.
“Life would be a lot better if you and I were on a beach in the Caribbean with a cocktail,” Crumpton claims to Doolittle several times.
The lawsuit also alleges she felt harassed when Crumpton told her on numerous occasions in 2019 that her “earrings looked beautiful.”
Doolittle’s lawsuit alleges that other female employees were harassed. She claims that in December 2019, when San Francisco host Emily Chang was on the air during a live segment, Crumpton stared “seductively” at Chang on screen and “made sexually suggestive grunts.”
She also alleges that he began calling colleagues “bastards” and “sons of b*****s” and “shamelessly cat-calling” other female employees, making statements such as “Well isn’t she fine, “in the open space and in front of other employees, as they walked by”.
The company said it has investigated all complaints, but is not purchasing any.
“As of December 2020, Doolittle filed internal complaints about her colleague Mark Crumpton,” the company said in a filing with the EEOC. “Each time she did, Bloomberg’s employee relations team thoroughly investigated her allegations and found no basis for them.”
As for the most startling allegation in the lawsuit – that Crumpton masturbates[d] his genitals all over his pants” in her presence on a live television set – she never told Bloomberg researchers that he engaged in such behavior.”
Doolittle’s suit stated that she initially complained to head of terminals and marketing Daniel Curtis immediately after that incident in December 2020 that Crumpton made her feel “uncomfortable” and that she did not want to appear on the air or face him on set with wanted her.
Doolittle’s lawsuit acknowledges that she did not call an alleged “masturbation incident” in those terms at the time, claiming she “feared retaliation based on how other female media figures were treated after reporting harassment to their employers.”
She further claims in the lawsuit that “Curtis was aware of Crumpton’s sexually inappropriate conduct.
Despite this, the suit claims she was back on the air with Crumpton the next day.
Curtis, who is still with Bloomberg, did not respond to calls. However, in Bloomberg’s EEOC filings, the company defended its action.
Doolittle only said she felt “uncomfortable” with Crumpton, the company said, noting that Curtis responded to her unease by changing schedules so that her “Market Hits” segment and Crumpton’s “First Word” segment were in different found time frames to create more time between segments when they could overlap in the newsroom.
Doolittle claims in the lawsuit that the harassment dates back to at least 2018, when she said Crumpton repeatedly asked her to accompany him on a tropical vacation. She says she repeatedly rejected him
After management took steps so that they no longer appeared on the air together, the suit alleges that Crumpton “lasted” repeatedly at Doolittle’s agency and at the set when she was on the air.
The suit says that Doolittle then took her complaint to an executive producer, Emily Haas-Godsil, who she says then spoke directly to Crumpton.
But she claims that upon learning she had complained, Crumpton retaliated further against her, in one instance “attacking the set” while on air and sitting next to her.
Haas-Godsil left the company in July 2021 to start her own business, according to her Linkedin profile and did not return messages from DailyMail.com.
Although they no longer appeared on the air together, the suit alleges that Crumpton repeatedly “hanged out” at Doolittle’s desk and at the set when she was on the air.
However, the company said it appears Crumpton was just doing his normal work duties and did not interact with Doolittle.
The company said that after Doolittle postponed a number of conferences with HR representatives to hear her complaints, but finally spoke up about Crumpton’s alleged actions during a meeting with an HR representative on July 2, 2021 – some seven months after the alleged ‘masturbation incident’. ‘
That landed her another meeting with Katharine Polis, employee relations manager, who asked what action she wanted the company to take and whether Crumpton was fired.
Doolittle’s lawsuit said she filed a complaint with executive producer Emily Haas-Godsil and head of terminals and marketing Daniel Curtis
After promising to investigate, the lawsuit alleges Doolittle received an email from Polis on July 21 stating that after further investigation, the company has “denied any wrongdoing on the part of Crumpton.”
Doolittle claims she was advised by Polis to ‘use her vote against’ [Crumpton] to strengthen itself.’
Polis, who left Bloomberg for a new HR job last month, did not call back for comment.
The company said in a response to an EEOC complaint filed by Doolittle that no one else on set reported that Crumpton had acted inappropriately that day when Doolittle claimed a masturbation incident occurred.
The company also denied cutting its airtime over the complaints, saying only one segment was moved while it looked for a new sponsor.
“In any event, the alleged retaliatory actions (1) did not constitute an adverse employment action and (2) were motivated by legitimate business reasons unrelated to Doolittle,” the company said.
Neither Crumpton nor Doolittle responded to calls for comment.