Rudy Giuliani dismissed questions Wednesday about allegations made by his ex-police commissioner Bernard Kerik's former lover — that she was asked to lie about the affair to avoid hurting Giuliani's presidential ambitions.

The candidate laughed when reporters asked for his response to one-time publishing powerhouse Judith Regan's $100 million lawsuit claiming that her former employers directed her to lie to federal investigators about Kerik because of the implications for Giuliani.

"I don't respond to the story at all. I don't know anything about it. And, it sounds to me like a kind of gossip column story more than a real story," Giuliani said at the end of a 20-minute campaign stop, his only one of the day in this early voting state.

Asked if he was aware of Kerik and Regan's relationship, the former New York mayor said: "I think that's a gossip column story, and the last thing in the world you want to do when you're running for president is respond to gossip column type stories."

Because of Regan's affair with Kerik, court papers say, a senior executive at News Corp., HarperCollins' parent company, told her he believed she had information about Kerik that could hurt Giuliani's campaign and she should lie to federal investigators. She also contends another executive told her to withhold documents that were relevant to the government's investigation of Kerik.

News Corp. calls the claims preposterous.