Keillor: Relationship with accuser simply 'romantic writing'


MINNEAPOLIS

Garrison Keillor described several sexually suggestive emails he exchanged with a former researcher who accused him of sexual misconduct as “romantic writing” that never resulted in a physical relationship, and the radio host rejected the idea that because he was her boss – and the driving force of a hugely popular radio program – it could be sexual harassment.

The woman responded, via her attorney, that Keillor’s power over her job made her afraid to say no to him.

In one of his first extended interviews since Minnesota Public Radio cut ties over the allegations against the former “A Prairie Home Companion” host in November, Keillor said he never had a sexual relationship with the woman, a freelance contributor to the show at the time.

“No button was unbuttoned, and no zipper was unzipped,” Keillor told The Associated Press. “I never kissed her. . . . This was a flirtation between two writers that took place in writing.”

Keillor also downplayed his power over the woman by portraying himself as uninvolved in the mundane operations of the radio show he created nearly a half-century ago and built into a powerhouse that attracted millions of listeners nationwide each Saturday evening, spun off assorted businesses and tours and inspired a movie.

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