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.