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Yes, you could sue her for defamation of character now if you wished to, assuming that what she has said is untrue.
Before doing that however, you should follow the defamation pre-action protocol.
This is a series of steps that you have to follow before you issue court proceedings.
I'll get you a link....
Here it is. If you fail to follow this, the court will likely penalise you in costs, even if you win.
She would have to pay compensation. That is the retraction, of sorts. The court doesn't have the power to order her to retract the earlier statement, although if she does so, it might award a lesser amount of compensation, to recognise what she has done.
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