The feud between MPR and Garrison Keillor intensifies as new details emerge

MPR released more details of the inappropriate conduct allegations leveled at the Prairie Home Companion creator.

What's happening?

More details have been released by MPR about the allegations of "inappropriate conduct" against Garrison Keillor, which prompted MPR to sever ties with him this past November.

They have been revealed in an investigative article published on Tuesday by MPR News and through a Q&A to listeners by MPR President Jon McTaggart.

The initial allegation concerned a woman who worked for Keillor on APrairie Home Companion, who recollected an incident where Keillor placed his hand on her "bare back."

What does the MPR News story say?

The MPR News investigation says it has uncovered additional allegations of inappropriate behavior by Keillor, including that in 2009 he offered a $16,000 check to a subordinate he was was romantically involved with in exchange for signing a confidentiality agreement. She refused.

It also contains allegations he wrote a rude limerick about a woman who worked at his bookstore, "bullied and humiliated" a female producer who worked for him at The Writer's Almanac, and revealed is "intense attraction" to one of his college students while he was an instructor at the U of M.

And the MPR President?

McTaggart's Q&A provides more details about MPR's investigation into the accusation that led to their partnership with Keillor to end in November.

Among the developments revealed in the post are:

– The woman who made the initial complaint about Keillor submitted a 12-page letter detailing a number of other alleged incidents, including private emails and messages and requests of "sexual contact and explicit descriptions of sexual communications and touching."

– This letter arrived in late October, a few months after MPR became aware of allegations against Keillor from a former employee who brought it up "in a general way."

– Keillor chose not to hand over copies of his emails and phone messages for the investigation, which was carried out by an independent law firm hired by MPR.

– MPR is not making the specific details of the allegations public as neither the woman who made the initial complaint has made them public, nor has Keillor.

– McTaggart also says MPR went to "great lengths to be considerate of Garrison's reputation," adding he is "deeply grateful" for what Keillor had done for MPR.

What is Garrison Keillor saying?

He's not happy, judging by a sternly worded statement sent to the Star Tribune on Tuesday evening in which he accuses MPR of espousing "untruths."

You can read the full statement here, but he also notes that his listeners "smelled a rat," forcing McTaggart into the response on the station's website on Tuesday.

He calls the 12-page complaint against him a "highly selective and imaginative piece of work," noting that the woman in question was a friend hired through his own production company, not MPR.

"Listeners know me far better than MPR management does and they know I’m not abusive," he adds. 

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