Australian actress Kym Valentine is returning to her role on long-running soap opera Neighbours, just months after settling a discrimination lawsuit with TV bosses behind the show. The star played Libby Kennedy on the popular series between 1994 and 2004, when she left to focus on motherhood. She returned in 2007 but took time out on several occasions between 2008 and 2011 due to health issues.
She has not been seen onscreen since that year (11), and last July (13), Valentine launched legal action against production company FreemantleMedia Australia and the show's former producers, Susan Bower and Neal Kingston, over allegations of unlawful discrimination. She demanded compensation for lost wages, an apology and reinstatement to the show.
A settlement was reached in November (13), although the terms were kept confidential.
Now the actress has confirmed she will reprise her role for three weeks as part of a celebration marking her on-screen parents' 20 years on the soap.
A statement from the actress reads, "I'm really looking forward to catching up with old friends at Neighbours, as well as getting to know many of the new cast. Playing Libby was a very important part of my life and I can't wait to reintroduce audiences to her."
Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne play Valentine's on-screen parents Karl and Susan Kennedy. The episodes will air later this year (14).
Australian actress Kym Valentine has settled her legal battle with producers of long-running soap opera Neighbours. Valentine spent a decade playing Libby Kennedy on the Australian soap between 1994 and 2004 before taking a break following the birth of her daughter, but returned to the show in 2007.
She took indefinite leave from her work in 2011 after checking into a private hospital suffering from exhaustion and has not returned to the show since.
In July (13), Valentine took legal action against Neighbours production company FreemantleMedia Australia, legal director Steven Rosser and the show's former producers Susan Bower and Neal Kingston, accusing them of unlawful discrimination.
The actress accused FreemantleMedia of failing to provide "a working environment that was safe" and demanded compensation for lost wages and "pain, hurt, suffering and humiliation", as well as an apology and reinstatement to her role on the show.
Valentine and FreemantleMedia have now agreed on a settlement, but the terms have been kept confidential. It is not known whether the actress will be returning to her role on the show.
Australian actress Kym Valentine is suing the producers of soap opera Neighbours. The star played Libby Kennedy from 1994 until 2004, but took time out of the show to raise her daughter.
She returned in 2007, but took indefinite leave in 2011, just months after she checked into a private hospital to be treated for exhaustion.
Valentine has now taken legal action, accusing production company FremantleMedia Australia, legal director Steven Rosser and former Neighbours producers Susan Bower and Neal Kingston of engaging in unlawful discrimination.
The 36 year old claims FremantleMedia failed to provide "a working environment that was safe" and that it breached "the relationship of trust and confidence".
Valentine is seeking compensation for lost wages and "pain, hurt, suffering and humiliation", as well as an apology and an acknowledgement that she suffered unlawful discrimination, according to documents obtained by Fairfax Media. The actress also wants to be rehired in the role of Kennedy.
A spokesperson for FremantleMedia states, "We don't comment on matters before the courts."
Producers on the TV show stopped the shoot on Friday (05Mar10) and called emergency services after the unnamed extra started behaving in "an extraordinary way" - breaking objects in the Melbourne studio and accidentally slicing her wrist on some cut glass.
Filming was cancelled and the cast was escorted away from the set while police and ambulance crews dealt with the woman, who was later admitted to hospital.
Neighbours executive producer Susan Bower tells Australia's Herald Sun newspaper, "It was a bit of a shock. One of our regular extras wasn't really feeling the best and started behaving in an extraordinary way. She was very distressed and swung her hand and knocked a glass off a table."
Producer Neal Kingston adds, "We were concerned for the welfare of everyone and removed all cast and crew until the police arrived to assess the situation. She broke a couple of items so we cleared the situation to make sure everyone was OK and waited for authorities to arrive. She was assisted by police and went willingly outside with them. Authorities assessed the situation and (the) cut on her hand and decided to seek further treatment. The ambulance came and took her to hospital and, from our understanding, her injury was successfully treated."
Playing second fiddle to a more famous sibling can be rough. Just ask Fred Claus (Vaughn) a regular guy who has had to grow up under the shadow of his little brother Nicholas Claus (Paul Giamatti) aka Santa. That’s a big shadow to say the least both figuratively and literally. As an adult Fred has pretty much steered clear of his family but when he finds himself in dire need of some fast cash he calls his brother. Pleased as punch to hear from him Nicholas nonetheless makes him a deal: If he comes up to the North Pole for a visit and to help out the few days before Christmas then Fred can have the money. Fred reluctantly agrees and soon he’s being whisked off in Santa’s sleigh by head elf Willie (John Michael Higgins). But once Fred gets to the North Pole nothing seems to go right and soon he is the cause of much chaos--which unbeknownst to Fred causes Nicholas even more stress since his North Pole operation is one step away from being shut down by a cold-hearted efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey). Can Fred quit being bitter in time to save his brother’s livelihood? Of course he can. Hmmm Vince Vaughn minus the R-rated Wedding Crashers/Old School irreverence? It’s a stretch. Seeing the comic actor playing it PG is a little weird but you might enjoy how Vaughn infuses his unique energy into Fred Claus. From getting all the elves to boogie down in Santa’s workshop to going on one rant after another (on his brother: “He’s a clown a megalomaniac a fame junkie!”) to pilfering money on the street and then being chased by Salvation Army Santas it’s all good. Giamatti too seems a little out of his comfort zone as the saintly St. Nick. The actor who usually plays such endearing sad sacks has already played against type to great effect this year as the maniacal bad guy in Shoot ‘Em Up but he isn't nearly as successful in doing the flipside of that in Fred Claus. And what the hell is Kevin Spacey doing in this? As the villain of the film he fills the shoes nicely but he is almost too good at it (natch) for such a feel-good family film. Even Higgins--a character actor who is usually so hilarious in films such as The Break Up and all of Christopher Guest’s movies—has to shed the cheekiness and sugar himself up for Fred Claus. There’s also Rachel Weisz as Fred’s beleaguered girlfriend (you heard right) and Kathy Bates as the Claus boys’ mother who always sees Fred as inferior to her other son to fill out a cast of big names doing family fare. Director David Dobkin is a Vince Vaughn favorite having directed him in Wedding Crashers and Clay Pigeons but like his muse Dobkin seems a little out of place guiding this material. Granted Dobkin creates a pretty magical North Pole complete with an entire city of little dwellings a Frosty Tavern and a huge domed Santa’s Workshop. The montage of Fred delivering presents on Christmas Eve—falling down chimneys stuffing cookies in his face zooming around in the sleigh—is also well done. But overall Fred Claus is a Vaughn vehicle—even as sugary sweet and family-friendly as it is--and all Dobkin really does is turn the camera on and let the man do his stuff. Dan Fogelman's script is also so very bland full of any number of holes and only picks up once Vaughn starts to improvise. Bottom line: If you’re looking to take the kids to a sweet Christmas movie and are a Vince Vaughn fan then Fred Claus is for you.