Minnesota Public Radio has cut its ties with Garrison Keillor over allegations of "inappropriate behavior."
The legendary Minnesota radio host, who presented A Prairie Home Companionfor 42 years, confirmed he had been fired by MPR on Wednesday.
In a statement, MPR said it's "terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him."
Keillor emailed the Associated Press, saying he was fired over "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard."
In an email sent to the Star Tribune, Keillor said the allegation relates to an incident he says he put his hand on a woman's "bare back."
"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," he said. "She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called."
A Prairie HomeCompanion will be renamed
Not only is it terminating its contract with Keillor, but MPR says it's changing the name of A Prairie Home Companion, which is now hosted by musician Chris Thile.
The 75-year-old from Anoka stepped down from A Prairie Home last year, with Thile taking over, but still produced The Writer's Almanac for MPR. That show will also be ending, as will any rebroadcasts of Keillor-hosted Prairie Homes.
The allegations relate to Keillor's time on the show he created in 1974, with MPR saying it's retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations.
"Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff," it says.
"Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances," said Jon McTaggart, President of MPR.
"While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service."