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HarperCollins drops Chris Cuomo’s book ‘Deep Denial’ after CNN firing

A man with short hair in a black suit and tie
Journalist Chris Cuomo has lost a publishing opportunity after his CNN firing.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press)

HarperCollins is scrapping plans to publish a book by former CNN host Chris Cuomo about the Trump years and COVID-19 pandemic.

The move comes after the journalist was fired from CNN last weekend following revelations over his involvement in managing the sexual harassment scandal that forced his brother Andrew Cuomo to resign as governor of New York in August.

“Custom House does not intend to publish the Chris Cuomo book,” a spokesperson for the HarperCollins imprint, William Morrow, said Tuesday in a statement to The Times.

An outside legal counsel informed the network there was cause to fire him. Then a former ABC News colleague’s complaint sealed his fate.

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The 51-year-old cable anchor’s book, “Deep Denial,” was initially set for release under HarperCollins’ Custom House banner, which publishes “thought-provoking nonfiction and distinguished literary fiction.” Its publication date was pushed from January to October earlier this year, then again to fall 2022, according to Publishers Marketplace, which also reported on the title going missing from Amazon.

“Deep Denial” was billed as “a provocative analysis of the harsh truths that the pandemic and Trump years have exposed about America — about our strength and our character — and a roadmap of the work needed to make our ideals match reality.”

Just as Andrew Cuomo’s resignation ended up engulfing his brother’s career, the debacle of the governor’s own COVID-19 book might have served HarperCollins with a cautionary tale. Andrew’s memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic,” acquired by the Penguin Random House imprint Crown for a reported $5 million, dragged the publisher into the politician’s spectacular fall from grace. His book briefly topped the bestseller list, but sales flagged when public opinion turned on Cuomo as scandals mounted. An impeachment investigation looked into whether state resources had been used to help him write the book.

HarperCollins’ decision is the latest hit to the younger Cuomo’s résumé. Days after losing his job as host of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time,” Cuomo lost his other media platform, “Let’s Get After It,” a daily show on SiriusXM satellite radio that he had hosted since September 2018.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo was accused Friday of sexually harassing his former ABC boss Shelley Ross in 2005 in ‘a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle’ her.

“The way my time ended at CNN was hard,” Cuomo said in a statement posted on Twitter. “While I have a thick skin, I also have a family, for whom the past week has been extraordinarily difficult. So right now that means I have to take a step back and focus on what’s next.”

CNN announced Cuomo’s dismissal Saturday and the WarnerMedia-owned cable news channel said it had brought in an outside law firm to review his situation. The review showed that he crossed a line in advising his brother on how to handle the allegations that he harassed 11 women, CNN said.


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