Public Radio Star Says He Touched Woman's Bare Back, Denies Multiple Allegations
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The president of Minnesota Public Radio told employees the decision to dismiss Garrison Keillor resulted from "multiple allegations" covering an extended period of time, but an attorney for the former "The Prairie Home Companion" host disputed that characterization and said the humorist wants MPR to "set the record straight."
MPR President Jon McTaggart held an off-the-record meeting with employees Wednesday, a week after the organization cut ties with Keillor. Reporters from Minnesota Public Radio News did not attend because the meeting was declared off-the-record, but compiled an account from employees who did attend.
MPR News reports McTaggart said he alone made the decision to break with Keillor, who retired as "Prairie Home" host last year. Keillor told the Star Tribune he touched a woman's bare back as he tried to console her, and that he apologized. MPR has not given details of the allegations.
In response to the MPR News report, Keillor attorney Eric Nilsson issued a statement early Thursday.
"We are aware of allegations against Mr. Keillor by only one individual," Nilsson said. "We trust that Mr. McTaggart will set the record straight in this respect to avoid any misperceptions on that point."
Nilsson says Keillor wants a swift resolution of the matter and "with it expects a full restoration of his reputation."
"The Prairie Home Companion" continues with Keillor's hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile.