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Judge rejects gag order request in Paula Deen case

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- A Chatham County judge has rejected a request for a gag order restricting pre-trial comments in a sexual harassment lawsuit against celebrity chef Paula Dean's companies.

Judge Louisa Abbot said she would file an order denying the request by attorneys for Paula Deen and her business entities.

Attorneys for Deen said Tuesday that a former worker who claimed she was sexually harassed and subjected to a hostile work environment at a restaurant co-owned by Deen and her brother made false claims after the celebrity chef refused to pay her to keep quiet.

A lawsuit filed Monday by Lisa Jackson "makes false allegations against Paula Deen and they will be proven false in court," said a statement from the Oliver Maner law firm, representing Deen.