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Settlement reached in suit involving rice diet dietitian

Lawyers say they have reached a settlement in a lawsuit that accused the late founder of the acclaimed rice diet of making a virtual sex slave of a former patient.

Adam Stein, lawyer for the woman who filed the suit, confirmed Thursday that a confidential settlement has been reached in a court battle that pitted Duke University and the estate of Dr. Walter Kempner, creator of the rice diet, against Sharon Ryan.

Ryan accused Kempner and the school of being responsible for her years of mental illness and depression.

Ryan alleged she spent nearly half her life under the complete domination of Kempner, a Duke physician and internationally known nutritionist who was 90 when the lawsuit was filed in 1993. Kempner died in 1997.