MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Garrison Keillor says he was fired because he put his hand on a woman's bare back as he tried to console her.

The longtime radio host announced Wednesday he'd been fired by Minnesota Public Radio. Keillor retired from his popular show, "A Prairie Home Companion," last year but had still worked for MPR on a variety of projects.

Keillor tells the Minneapolis Star Tribune in an email that he was trying to pat the woman's back after she had told him "about her unhappiness." Keillor wrote that the woman's shirt was open and his hand went up about 6 inches.

Keillor says he apologized when the woman recoiled, and also emailed the woman an apology. He says she replied she'd forgiven him and "not to think about it."

Keillor says he considered her a friend and they remained friendly "right up until her lawyer called."

MPR declined to give any detail of the allegation against Keillor.