Julie Andrews Settles Lawsuit Against Doctors

ByABC News
September 8, 2000, 2:14 PM

September 7 -- LOS ANGELES (Reuters) Actress Julie Andrews, star of the classic musical The Sound of Music, said on Thursday that she has settled her malpractice lawsuit over a 1997 throat operation that she said left her unable to sing professionally.

Andrews, 64, who won an Oscar for her performance in the 1964 film Mary Poppins, said in a brief statement that the terms of the settlement against two doctors and New York's Mount Sinai Hospital were confidential. The settlement ends a lawsuit she filed last year in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, N.Y.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said she could not immediately comment on the settlement.

"I am glad to have settled this case in a favorable manner and am glad to close this chapter on an event which was unfortunate for all concerned," Andrews said.

"I am very grateful to my attorneys, Peter Parcher and Orin Snyder, for representing me with such compassion and excellence."

The British-born Andrews, who made her Broadway debut at the age of 19 and went on to star in several of the biggest movie musicals of all time, went in for a throat operation in 1997 after experiencing voice problems.

She claimed in her lawsuit that the operation was botched, leaving her with hoarseness, permanent vocal chord damage and other complications.

Andrews' publicist, Gene Schwam, said the star was emotionally devastated by being unable to sing professionally, although she has been working on other projects, including acting and writing children's books.

"I think she's still doing rehabilitative exercises," Schwam said. "She's continuing to do what she can under medical supervision to improve her condition."

He said that Andrews is scheduled to host a PBS television special, Leading Ladies of Broadway, which will air in December, and will appear next year in the film Princess Diaries.