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Garrison Keillor Says Sexual Harassment Accusations Are an ‘Imaginative Piece of Work’

Former ”Prairie House Companion“ host fights back against dozens of accusations

Public radio mainstay Garrison Keillor is pushing back after an investigation by Minnesota Public Radio said he was fired for dozens of sexually inappropriate acts towards co-workers.

The former “A Prairie House Companion” host was dismissed in November after the report stated that Keillor sent an “off-color limerick” to an employee, and wrote an email to a 21-year-old woman saying he had an “intense attraction” towards her. Keillor is also accused of mocking an employee and replacing her with a younger woman. The accusations stem from MPR’s report shared on Tuesday, which said it opened an investigation after one of his accuser’s lawyers sent a 12-page letter to the company in late October.

Keillor did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment, but in a statement to the Star Tribune, said the woman was “friend.” He added the accusations were a “highly selective and imaginative piece of work” drawn up by her attorney.

“I hardly ever saw her in the office. Our friendship continued in frequent emails about our kids and travel and family things that continued to my last show and beyond,” said Keillor in his statement.  “She signed her emails ‘I love you’ and she asked if her daughter could be hired to work here, and so forth. She attended the last show in L.A. She still features ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ prominently on her Facebook page.”

MPR said Keillor had relationships with two employees, and sent a $16,000 check to one woman, asking her to sign a confidentiality agreement. After he was fired in November, Keillor had initially said he was let go for putting his hands on a woman’s bare back.

Keillor concluded his statement to the Star Tribune saying, “if I am guilty of harassment, then every employee who stole a pencil is guilty of embezzlement. I’m an honest fiction writer and I will tell this story in a novel.”