Neighbours star Kym Valentine is suing producers of the Aussie soap, alleging they subjected her to sex and disability discrimination.
The 36-year-old actress wants to return to the show as Libby Kennedy, whom she played between 1994 and 2011 before taking two years sick leave following a string of health problems.
Australian newspaper The Age reports it has obtained documents which show Kym is seeking compensation for lost wages and ‘pain, hurt, suffering and humiliation’, an acknowledgement that she suffered unlawful discrimination and an apology.
She is alleging that production company FremantleMedia Australia, legal director Steven Rosser and former Neighbours producers Susan Bower and Neal Kingston engaged in unlawful discrimination.
The actress claims the company failed to provide ‘a working environment that was safe’ and that it breached ‘the relationship of trust and confidence’.
Kym, who has a daughter, Millana, who will be 10 next month, first fell ill in 2008 when she suffered a collapsed lung on a flight from the US to Melbourne and was diagnosed with pneumonia. In July 2010, she was hospitalised with a suspected blood clot on her lung, and was revealed to be suffering from a respiratory problem.
She returned to work in 2011, but only stayed for a few months. She has previously spoken of her upset at producers’ decision to cast Michala Banas to temporarily play Libby when she first fell ill in 2008.
Kym’s lawyer has said she will not comment on the case.
A spokesperson for FremantleMedia told the paper: “We don’t comment on matters before the courts.”