Actress Valerie Harper has asked a judge to throw out playwright Matthew Lombardo's lawsuit over her cancer diagnosis, insisting she told him about her illness as soon as it returned.

The star is being sued for $2 million (£1.25 million) by Lombardo and the producers of Broadway play Looped, who allege she kept her health crisis a secret when her lung cancer returned last year (13) so she could star in the production, but cost bosses a fortune when she was eventually forced to pull out.

However, Harper is adamant she informed Lombardo as soon as she discovered she was ill again, and is asking a judge in the U.S. to dismiss the lawsuit, according to Tmz.com.

Harper is believed to be pursuing her own legal action against the show's bosses over allegations they failed to pay her until the end of her contract after she exited the play.