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Pro-Trump contributor Paris Dennard will not return to CNN following his suspension last August amid an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a past termination, he confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
“My exclusive one-year paid contract with CNN was from November 2017 to November 2018,” he said, with no further comment about the nature of his departure.
After publication of this story, a CNN spokesperson confirmed Dennard’s departure. “Paris Dennard’s contract with CNN has expired and he is no longer with the network,” the spokesperson said.
In recent days, Dennard had removed his role at CNN from his Twitter bio.
After The Washington Post reported on Aug. 22 that Dennard had been fired from a previous job at Arizona State University for “making sexually explicit comments and gestures toward women,” the network announced his suspension.
“We are aware of reports of accusations against Paris Dennard,” a network spokesperson said at the time. “We are suspending Paris, effective immediately, while we look into the allegations.”
CNN and Dennard have maintained complete radio silence in the months since his suspension and did not answer questions about the status of the network’s investigation.
Dennard claimed to the Post that he was the victim of “another politically motivated attempt to besmirch my character, and shame me into silence for my support of President Trump and the GOP.”
In a piece published Monday night on the conservative Breitbart website, Dennard double-downed on on this line of attack, taking on both the newspaper and his former employer. “CNN’s own ‘investigation’ could not substantiate the Post‘s claims,” he wrote. “But what was even more egregious than the Post‘s behavior was CNN’s blatantly disparate treatment of their only paid black, Republican, Trump-supporting political commentator — compared to a host of others who have never been immediately suspended and denied an opportunity to be booked on their network.”
He said he was suspended from CNN and other organizations “without cause” and claimed he “did not sexually harass anyone.”
Through his commentary, Dennard won the support and admiration of President Trump, who monitors his cable news defenders and called Dennard “wonderful” in an Aug. 20 tweet congratulating him on an on-air duel with Phil Mudd, a critic of the administration.
Dennard argued on Breitbart that it was not a coincidence that he was suspended two days after the president’s tweet.
“That set in motion a coordinated attempt by faceless adversaries to destroy me personally and professionally,” he wrote.
Unlike some of his CNN pro-Trump contemporaries, Dennard had experience at the highest levels of the Republican Party, including stints in George W. Bush’s White House and for the Republican National Committee.
His lawyer, Jennifer J. McGrath, has not responded to text and email requests for comment on Dennard’s departure.
“I will not be silenced, no matter what CNN, the Washington Post, or any other fake news story tries to imply through their own prejudiced actions,” Dennard wrote.
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