Keillor pushes back against expanded allegations

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota - Former radio host Garrison Keillor is pushing back against new details of sexual harassment allegations against him.

Minnesota Public Radio said in a statement Tuesday that Keillor was accused by a woman who worked on his "A Prairie Home Companion" show of dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents over several years. MPR said the allegations included requests by Keillor for sexual contact and explicit sexual communications and touching.

Keillor said after MPR severed its relationship with him in November that he had merely touched a woman's bare back accidentally while trying to console her. MPR said it released new details Tuesday in part because media organizations were preparing to publish their own stories about Keillor's behavior.

Keillor didn't respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. He told the Star Tribune that MPR listeners were angry over his dismissal because they "smelled a rat." He says they know him better than MPR management, "and they know I'm not abusive."

He says the woman's complaint is "a highly selective and imaginative piece of work" drawn up by her attorney.