Kym's surprise return to Neighbours

Last updated 12:18 11/03/2014
Kym Valentine
SETTLED: Kym Valentine has finished her legal battle.

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Neighbours actor Kym Valentine is to return to Ramsay Street for three weeks despite last year's legal battle over her sex discrimination claims against the show's producers.

Valentine, who played Libby Kennedy between 1994 and 2011, was seeking compensation from FremantleMedia Australia for "pain, hurt, suffering and humiliation" but the claim reached a confidential settlement in November, last year.

And now in a surprise move, it seems all is forgiven as she returns for a three-week guest role as part of a plotline marking 20 years of the show's enduring couple Karl and Susan Kennedy, played by Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne.

"I'm really looking forward to catching up with old friends at Neighbours as well as getting to know many of the new cast," Valentine said. "Playing Libby was a very important part of my life and I can't wait to reintroduce audiences to her."

Neighbours' series producer Jason Herbison said: "We warmly welcome Kym back to the Neighbours family and we are sure audiences will be excited to see Libby back on Ramsay Street."

Valentine had previously filed a complaint against FremantleMedia for failing to provide "a working environment that was safe" and breaching the "relationship of trust and confidence".

It appears problems began in 2008 when Valentine contracted pneumonia and suffered a collapsed lung on a flight from the United States to Melbourne. Producers forced her to take a month-long break and cast a replacement, Michala Banas, to temporarily step in. Valentine was hospitalised again in 2010 and 2011 for exhaustion.

Last year, she took to Twitter to voice her distress and praised fans for being a "constant support".

Valentine's co-star and on-screen mum, Woodburne, said her return was great news. "It's wonderful to have Kym back for this milestone year for Alan and I, and we're just lucky the Kennedys have that wing of bedrooms that we don't see to accommodate everyone."

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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