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Chris Cuomo loses book deal and CNN severance as brutal downfall continues

Chris Cuomo’s terrible week continues, as his publisher cancels his book deal and CNN says it will not be giving him severance pay.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the publisher HarperCollins told the Associated Press that it would not be releasing Mr Cuomo’s upcoming book of political commentary, Deep Denial. On the same day, CNN president Jeff Zucker told an employees in a meeting that Mr Cuomo would not receive severance from the company, AP reported.

HarperCollins did not elaborate on its decision.

“We do not intend to publish the book,” the publisher bluntly told The Daily Beast.

Mr Cuomo was fired on Saturday after the network said it had found “new information” on his behind-the-scenes efforts to help his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, fend off the sexual harassment accusations that led to his resignation.

“Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense,” the network said on Saturday. “We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately.”

Mr Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing.

“This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother,” he tweeted shortly after the announcement. “So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot.”

According to AP’s sources, Mr Zucker said CNN decided against the severance after concluding that Mr Cuomo had lied to the company. The network declined The Independent’s request for comment.

But that may not be the end of the story. The New York Post has reported that Mr Cuomo is gearing up to sue the network if it doesn’t pay the remaining $18m left in his contract. And according to Puck reporter Matthew Belloni, both sides have lawyered up – with Mr Cuomo retaining Bryan Freedman, the lawyer who handled Megyn Kelly’s abrupt departure from NBC.

It’s been a dramatic few days for Mr Cuomo, who had been CNN’s top-rated anchor and a ubiquitous presence in US news.

On Monday, Mr Cuomo announced that he would also be stepping down from his long-running SiriusXM radio show, Let’s Get After It.

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

The Independent has reached out to Mr Cuomo’s spokesperson for comment.