Brando, Ex-Assistant Settle Suit

Lawyers for Oscar-winning actor Marlon Brando (search) and his former personal assistant have agreed to settle a lawsuit involving a contentious $185,000 gift, according to court documents.

The case brought by Caroline Barrett (search) will be dismissed following successful completion of terms of the settlement agreement. The notice of settlement was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court and is expected to be finalized in about 60 days.

Barrett, who quit working for Brando in 2001, filed a lawsuit in February 2003 claiming the actor tried to retaliate by seeking repayment of a $185,000 loan that she said was given as a gift, documents said.

Lawyers for Brando, 80, and Barrett didn't immediately return telephone calls Monday seeking comment.

Barrett, who says she had worked for Brando since 1976, said the money was to buy a London home in the mid-1980s. According to her court filings, Brando legally adopted her daughter, Petra, in 1981 and wanted the child to be educated in England.

Barrett claimed that she was repeatedly assured that Brando didn't expect to be repaid but that he wanted to show the $185,000 was a loan to avoid taxes.

Brando's lawyers sent her a letter in September 2002 saying she was in default on the loan, and that he would foreclose on her Los Angeles home if the loan wasn't repaid, according to the lawsuit.

Brando won best-actor Oscars for 1954's "On the Waterfront" and 1972's "The Godfather." (search)