“Gossip Girl” actress Kelly Rutherford was awarded “sole and legal” temporary custody of her children, Hermes, 8, and Helena, 5, by a California judge on May 22.
Rutherford will retain and keep the children’s passports so they can return home from Monaco where they have been living with their father Daniel Giersch since 2012. A hearing is scheduled for June 15 at the L.A. Superior Court, where Rutherford, her children and her ex husband, or a representative for Giersch are required to attend.
"We are ecstatic, and hopeful that Monaco will respect the California court's ruling and send the children home. It has long been our position that Monaco has no jurisdiction because Hermes and Helena, as American citizens, have an absolute right to live in their own country," Rutherford's lawyer Wendy Murphy told People. "If the citizenship shoe were on the other foot and these children were citizens of Monaco, I have no doubt the United States would respect their right to reside in Monaco.
Murphy continued, "Monaco officials know that sending the children back to America is the right thing to do. I'm looking forward to the happy reunion of the children not only with their mother, but also with their country!"
Rutherford’s custody battle with her ex-husband entrepreneur has been going on for six years. The two divorced in 2009 when Rutherford was three months pregnant with Helena. The two share joint custody of Hermes and Helena, but a judge ruled they should live with their father in France in 2012. Rutherford fought the decision, but a second judge refused to overturn the court ruling. Now, her children reside in Monaco, and her ex is banned from returning to the US.
Rutherford sat down with “Extra” in March and opened up about her legal war, and shared how her children are doing.
“Every day you’re not with your child is a long day, and I don’t think people realize that,” she said. “You go into court and they’re not thinking in that way of time, and they’re not thinking about never being able to get that time back.”
She tries to spend as much time with her son and daughter as possible, “I was going about every three weeks then. Now I go about every four weeks, a few times it’s been six weeks, just logistically and financially." When she can’t travel, they still talk every day. “I either talk to them on the phone or we FaceTime, we Skype, we talk all the time, we talk about how we love each other and how we’re going to get through this… I want them to think things are normal and that we are going to be together. It’s going to be fine."
Rutherford’s priority through everything is her kids. “What’s going to keep these kids healthy through this, and that’s been my goal since day one, still my goal, always will be my goal that the kids are the priority.”