Pao’s decision ends a 3½-year legal wrangling that sparked a nationwide debate about gender equality and diversity in Silicon Valley

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Former Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Ellen Pao said Thursday that she would not appeal the verdict in a sex-discrimination case against the venture-capital firm, ending a 3½-year legal wrangling that sparked a nationwide debate about gender equality and diversity in Silicon Valley.

“This battle has been painful for me personally and professionally, and also for my family. It is time to move on,” Pao said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing the conversation about workplace equality and to building great companies in the technology industry.”

In March, a 12-member San Francisco Superior Court jury found that Kleiner Perkins did not discriminate against Pao because of her gender, deciding in favor of the firm on all of Pao’s claims.

“We are glad to put this trial behind us. There is no question diversity in the workplace is an important issue. KPCB remains committed to supporting women and minorities in venture capital and technology both inside our firm and within our industry,” Kleiner Perkins said in a statement.

Pao, who started working for Kleiner Perkins in 2005, claimed in the $16 million lawsuit that she didn’t receive raises or promotions at the firm because of her gender and that she eventually was told to leave the firm in October 2012.

But the legal battle didn’t end with the jury’s March verdict. In June, Pao filed court documents signaling that she planned to appeal the decision. A Superior Court judge had ruled in June that Pao must pay Kleiner Perkins nearly $276,000 to reimburse the venture-capital firm for its expenses during the five-week trial.

Pao, who was recently ousted as interim Reddit CEO, said in a statement to the San Jose Mercury News on Thursday that she was still on the hook for Kleiner Perkins’ legal costs unless she agreed not to speak about her experiences at the firm and that she couldn’t afford prolonging the lawsuit any longer.

The venture-capital firm has said in the past that it would cover its legal costs if Pao dropped the appeal, but it declined to clarify Thursday the conditions of waiving the legal fees.

“I am paying the legal costs because they have until now required my silence. If they have changed their mind back to not requiring me to pay costs without requiring me to be silent, that is new to me and I’m open to it,” Pao said in her statement.

Pao wrote in an opinion piece published Thursday on tech blog Recode that the Kleiner Perkins lawsuit highlighted the challenges of fighting discrimination in the courtroom.

As for what Pao planned to do next, she wrote in the Recode piece that her battle against workplace discrimination isn’t over.

“Personally, I plan to continue moving these issues forward by writing, investing and working in the technology industry,” she wrote.