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Judy holds on to Cliff

TV judge Sheindlin inks rich HarperCollins pact

NEW YORK — Judy Sheindlin, TV’s “Judge Judy,” has signed a million-dollar deal with the HarperCollins imprint Cliff Street to write a book about the problems facing today’s families. The pact comes during a week when the syndicated TV star’s second book, also from Cliff Street, is No. 4 on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list.

The deal marks a substantial raise for Sheindlin, who sold her third book, “Do the Right Thing,” to HarperCollins for six figures just one month ago. That book will be aimed toward young adults.

The seven-figure deal comes after a weeklong negotiation between Cliff Street’s Diane Reverand and Sheindlin’s longtime agent Jane Dystel. Cliff Street owned an option for Sheindlin’s fourth book, which it purchased based on the author’s brief two-page proposal.

The as-yet-untitled tome will be culled from Sheindlin’s 25 years of experience as a family court judge. Says Sheindlin, “Today’s family has more dimensions than my diamond ring — and they’re not half as pretty or as precious.”

In addition to the Sheindlin book, Dystel and Reverand closed a six-figure pact to publish “The Seven Human Talents,” written by Los Angeles-based yoga guru Gurmukh.

Stretching out as author

The deal was signed after Dystel took Gurmukh around to several Gotham-based publishers and an auction was held among four of them. The publishers were basing their bids on a substantial outline of the book, which promises to be not so much a yoga book as a “guide to leading a spiritually centered life.”

According to Dystel, the Cliff Street bid was substantially lower than another suitor, but Gurmukh chose the HarperCollins imprint because “she felt a chemistry with the publisher.”

The book is the first from Germukh, who boasts a long celebrity client list that includes Madonna, Courtney Love and David Duchovny.

HarperCollins is expecting that the well-known faces will help publicize the book and turn the internationally known teacher of Kundalini Yoga meditation into the Deepak Chopra of the next century.

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