Paula Deen's lawyers say sexual harassment claims are false

In this Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 photo, celebrity chef Paula Deen poses for a portrait in New York. Deen recently announced that she has Type 2 diabetes.
AP Photo/Carlo Allegri
Paula Deen: Diabetes backlash
Paula Deen poses for a portrait in New York on Jan. 17, 2012.

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

Pictures: Paula Deen

Morris News Service reports that Chatham County Judge Louisa Abbot said she would file an order denying the request by attorneys for Paula Deen and her business entities.

Meanwhile, those attorneys claimed Tuesday that the suit was filed after the celebrity chef refused to pay the former employee, Lisa Jackson, to keep quiet.

Attorneys for Deen said Tuesday that Jackson, 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 Deen refused her requests for payment.

A statement from the law firm representing Deen said the lawsuit from Jackson "makes false allegations against Paula Deen and they will be proven false in court." The restaurant is in Savannah.