Kelly Rutherford’s Lawyer Defends Actress Against ‘Child Abduction’ Allegations
Kelly Rutherford spent the summer with her two children – Hermes and Helena – in New York, and was due to fly them back to Monaco on Thursday, August 6, 2015, but she declared on Friday, August 7, 2015, that she is refusing, People reports.
The children have lived with their father – Rutherford’s ex-husband and German businessman Daniel Giersch – since 2012, after a Californian judge ruled that Giersch should live with the kids in Monaco, as his U.S. visa had been revoked.
After a long legal battle, Rutherford was awarded sole custody by a Californian judge in May 2015.
A judge in Monaco intervened earlier this summer, and allowed the children to spend a month with Rutherford in America, but during their return home, the custody battle took a drastic turn as officials in both California and New York claimed they no longer have jurisdiction over the case, even though the children are U.S. citizens.
She 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 announcement prompted Giersch’s lawyer to accuse Rutherford of “child abduction”. But the exasperated mother insists she is simply protecting her children.
She tells ABC News, “It put me, as a parent, in an odd place because if nobody’s taking jurisdiction, how do you put your children on a plane to a foreign country, not knowing what’s gonna happen?”
Her legal representative, Wendy Murphy, has also spoken out in her client’s defense, stating, “Temporary means they (children) come back to their own country, so what Kelly’s doing is just respecting what the court said in 2012. They’re American citizens, they have a right to live in their own country.”
According to ABC News, Rutherford claims her children told her “really alarming things” about life with their father that made her worry about their safety if she were to send them back, but she did not disclose the nature of the concerns.
Hours after the actress’ TV appearance aired on Monday, August 10, 2015, she was ordered to appear in court with her kids on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.