"Extra" caught up with Kelly Rutherford in the Hamptons at the inaugural benefit for her charity, The Children's Justice Campaign.
Rutherford’s organization benefits parents facing struggles in the family court system, and she opened up about her own ongoing custody battle with her ex-husband, Daniel Giersch.
Although the couple shares joint custody of their two children, son Hermes, 7, and daughter Helena, 5, a judge recently refused to overturn a previous court ruling that the children should live with their father in France.
Kelly told special correspondent Baruch Shemtov that she is feeling very fortunate to spend the summer with her kids in the States. “Most parents are really happy to send their kids to camp in the summer. I’m really happy and my kids are really happy just to be together. We really value the time that we have together.”
Rutherford explained, “They’re aware and as they get older they’re more and more aware… they’re really in tune with how they feel about it and at least in my home, they are really allowed to express how they feel about it. I tell them I’m doing everything I can when they go back to France this week. My son said, ‘Mommy, are you still going to be fighting for us?’ and I said. Absolutely, every day.’”
She added, “I do my best to say, ‘Enjoy your time in France, that’s the important thing. Mommy will be there. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here, and I’m here to listen to you. I’m here to understand. This is something that hopefully your Dad and I can work out together.’ I say, ‘Go be with your dad, love your dad.’ I talk about his good qualities because I want them to grow up happy and healthy, and I know if I say negative things or act in a negative way, it impacts them and their spirit and their soul and their future… I’m doing my best to take the high road as I cry in the shower.”
When asked if Kelly would consider moving to France, she replied, “All my ex needs to do is reapply for a visa and hasn’t done it, and he would be here. I don’t know why three U.S. citizens would have to move to a country where none of us have any connection whatsoever to appease their dad.”
The bottom line is that Rutherford is not going to give up. “I’m a mother. I’m always going to fight for my kids. I just don’t want my kids to grow up in a world that this is how justice is… I really think that the reason I started The Children’s Justice Campaign is to bring awareness around a system that really doesn’t seem to be acting in the best interest of children.”