Garrison Keillor is in mediation with Minnesota Public Radio after his former employer fired him for allegations of “inappropriate behavior” with a co-worker late last year.
As initially reported by the Associated Press, Keillor said in a recent Facebook post that he was on day two of negotiations at a law firm in Minneapolis.
“Lawyers arguing, [and] a negotiator moving from office to office to talk with the four parties involved, and it all goes so slowly that you lose track of time,” he wrote in the Friday post. “And though the issues they’re resolving will have an impact on my life, I sit here and think about the future, about a screenplay, a novella that’s on the verge of completion, about going to Prague in June. If I were 50, I’d be scared, but when you’re 75, you’re free. What can they do to me? My love is waiting for me in a New York snowstorm and I’ll be on an early morning flight to get there and what happens after that is nothing to worry about.”
MPR spokeswoman Angie Andresen said the company and Keillor are talking about “issues related to the transition of their business relationship.”
In an e-mail Monday, Keillor said, “The mediation is not, God help us, yet completed. More on Thursday. It’s a simple divorce case.”
MPR announced in November it was cutting all ties with the longtime host of radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Officials at the network said they were notified of allegations relating to Keillor’s conduct while he was responsible for producing PHC.
Keillor told the Star Tribune in November that 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. She recoiled. I apologized,” he said.
In the recent Facebook post, Keillor described the negotiation process as “mediation.”
The show, which he handed off last year to Chris Thile, was renamed “Live From Here” — Keillor holds the “Prairie Home Companion” trademark — and Keillor’s old broadcasts no longer will be aired.
Keillor’s attorney, Eric Nilsson, said in an e-mail that he is working with him in responding to the claim that led to MPR’s decision.
“Mr. Keillor wants a swift resolution of the consequences of that decision and with it he expects a full restoration of his reputation,” Nilsson wrote. “Even so, he knows that the complexity of his long-standing relationship with MPR and the abruptness with which it was ended makes the process complex, and its resolution will be affected by resolving the claim of a single individual that has been presented to MPR.”
Nilsson also challenged a claim by American Public Media CEO Jon McTaggart in an off-the-record meeting with employees where he said there were “multiple allegations” that led to Keillor’s firing.
“We are aware of allegations against Mr. Keillor by only one individual,” Nilsson said. “We trust that Mr. McTaggart will set the record straight.”