Kelly Rutherford Ordered to Hand Over Kids for Return to Monaco
Kelly Rutherford has been fighting to bring her eight-year-old son Hermes and six-year-old daughter Helena back to their native U.S. to live there permanently ever since a California judge granted her ex-husband, German businessman Daniel Giersch, permission to take the kids to live with him temporarily in Monaco in 2012 after his U.S. visa was revoked.
In June 2015, a Monaco judge allowed the children to spend the summer 2015 with their mother in the U.S. as officials in both countries attempted to establish jurisdiction, but Rutherford was recently dealt a blow as judges in California and New York refused to take up the case.
She was due to return the kids to their father last week, as per the Monaco court order, but Rutherford defied the ruling, prompting Giersch’s lawyer to accuse her of “child abduction” and file a motion under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which ensures the prompt return of youngsters who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence.
Rutherford said in a statement on Friday, “These past three years waiting for my children to come home have been very difficult. My children were forced to leave the United states in 2012 when they were only 2 and 5 years old. In May, a judge in California gave me sole custody and brought them home. I am immensely grateful and overjoyed to have them back. Since May, however, the court proceedings have been confusing.”
She also claims that because no state is claiming jurisdiction over the case, it “means no state in this country is currently protecting my children. It also means that no state in this country currently requires me to send the children away. Hence, I have decided that I cannot lawfully send my children away from the United States to live in a foreign country.
“I hope that this decision will end this painful litigation, and that my children will be allowed to live in peace in their own country… I pray that officials in this country and in Monaco will agree that three years in exile is a very long time in a child’s life, and that my children have a right to remain, once and for all, in the United States.”
The actress was summoned to appear in New York Supreme Court with Hermes and Helena on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, but she angered Judge Ellen Frances Gesmer by failing to bring her kids along with her.
When quizzed about their whereabouts, Rutherford’s lawyer revealed they were “close by”, adding they wanted to protect the children from the “media circus” outside the courthouse. But the excuse did not sit well with Judge Gesmer and Hermes and Helena were later brought into the court through a side door.
Giersch was not present for the hearing, but his lawyers successfully requested the press be banned from the proceedings, and they later emerged triumphant as Rutherford was ordered to bid farewell to her kids and immediately hand them over to her former mother-in-law, who was in attendance.
A custody hearing has been set for September 3, 2015 in Monaco.