Kelly Rutherford Opens Up About Her 6-Year Custody Battle
Actress Kelly Rutherford's custody battle with her ex-husband Daniel Giersch just keeps on going. The two share joint custody of Hermes, 8, and Helena, 5, but a judge ruled they should live with their father in France.
Kelly 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” and opened up about her legal war that has been going on for six years, and shared how her children are doing.
Kelly has not stopped fighting. “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.”
The former “Gossip Girl” star is trying 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."
She enjoys every second of their visits, “It's amazing, so primal, you just want to smell them, they're like little monkeys, we're all on top of each other all the time whether sitting eating or cuddling… watching a movie… so much we want to say and get in, and the time we spend together is so precious, and we so appreciate every moment.”
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 and her legal team were in federal court this week arguing her children's constitutional rights as US citizens. “We were there, having a conversation, we have to wait months and MONTHS between court dates. You're so thankful you're there and somebody's listening to you… it's just going to take the right person to say alright, let's do this, do the right thing and really everyone ends up looking good. We get to bring the US citizens home… I think a lot of parents will be relieved because a lot of parents are saying, 'Oh my God that can happen to me.'”
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.”
Kelly admitted she feels alone at times. She created the Children's Justice Campaign to not only help her, but others as well. “It's really difficult, you have to keep yourself busy, you have to turn into an activist otherwise you just won't be able to function.”
She recalled telling her son about the organization, a conversation that nearly broke her heart. “I said, 'I started an organization because I think it's really important that kids in the future don't have to go through what you've gone through.' He said, 'Mommy are you still fighting for us?' I said, 'My God,' that's the whole point to raise more and more awareness.”