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Posted: January 24, 2018

Garrison Keillor acted inappropriately with many women according to MPR report

AP Photo/Jeff Baenen, File
Who is Garrison Keillor?

By Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Former “A Prairie Home Companion” host Garrison Keillor’s inappropriate behavior with women was not limited to the one incident he described in November as “accidentally touching” a woman’s bare back, according to an investigation from Minnesota Public Radio.

Far from being an isolated incident, Keillor is accused of engaging in multiple instances of sexual harassment through the years, the report claims, including penning an off-color limerick aimed at an employee, humiliating an employee he later replaced with a younger woman, and emailing a 21-year-old woman taking a writing course he was teaching, telling her he had an “intense attraction” to her.

MPR released a statement Tuesday saying Keillor was accused by a woman who worked on his "A Prairie Home Companion" radio show of dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents including requests for sexual contact and explicit sexual communications and touching.

MPR faced a wave of negative criticism following its decision in November to end its relationship with Keillor. MPR at the time said it ended the relationship over allegations of harassment from a woman who said Keillor had touched her bare back. Keillor said at the time that it was an accidental touch.

"I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized," Keillor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune after he and MPR parted ways.

In the statement, MPR President Jon McTaggart defended the November decision saying, "If the full 12-page letter or even a detailed summary of the alleged incidents were to be made public, we believe that would clarify why MPR ended its business relationship with Garrison and correct the misunderstandings and misinformation about the decision.”

Tuesday’s story also said Keillor had relationships with two women in his office and that his production company sent a check for $16,000 to one of the women and asked her to sign a confidentiality agreement barring her from discussing the two’s involvement. 

The woman did not sign the agreement nor did she cash the check, according to the story. 

Keillor sent an email to MPR in response to a request to comment on the story before publication. He declined to comment, saying he was still negotiating with MPR over business relationships, adding, "But beyond that, I don't think MPR News can report fairly on MPR management's chaotic and disastrous actions. I think it would be a waste of time to engage in the he said/they said game. There are facts here that need to be respected. I'll be able to tell my side of the story at length, in my own words, in due course, and that's sufficient for me." 

Read the full story here.


 


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