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Garrison Keillor issues new statement on allegations of improper behavior

Garrison Keillor fired

MINNEAPOLIS -- A new statement from Garrison Keillor raises questions about allegations of improper behavior that led Minnesota Public Radio to terminate his contracts.

Keillor said Wednesday he had been fired, and MPR soon confirmed the move. MPR said the allegation involved one person who worked with Keillor on "A Prairie Home Companion" before he left the show in 2016.

MPR said it had no similar allegations involving other staff.

In a later statement to MPR News, Keillor wrote that he has to respect the privacy "of the two employees who made the allegations." 

A spokeswoman for MPR's corporate arm didn't immediately respond to a message to clarify whether the accusation involved one person or two.

Keillor told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he put his hand on the bare back of a woman he had been trying to console, and when she recoiled, he apologized.

Garrison Keillor
In this July 26, 2017, photo, "A Prairie Home Companion" creator and former host Garrison Keillor talks at his St. Paul, Minn., office. AP

According to Keillor, the woman recoiled and he apologized, adding: "We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called."

Fans of Keillor were quick to react, CBS Minnesota reports

"Got to be much more careful and cautious and treat people the way they want to be treated," said fan Jeff Slack. "The bottom line is it's not a real complicated equation."

Keillor's been among MPR's biggest attractions for more than 45 years. He recently retired from "A Prairie Home Companion," but was still contributing pieces for the radio.

According to MPR's statement, they'll rename the show, as well as stop airing "Best Of" broadcasts and his Writer's Almanac.

CBS Minnesota left a message for Keillor but have not heard back.

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