Raymond Hall/GC Images
Kelly Rutherford didn't get the answer she wanted when Judge Ellen Gesmer ordered the actress' children back to Monaco, and now she and her lawyer, Wendy Murphy, want an explanation.
In a statement from Rutherford and Murphy obtained by E! News Wednesday, they charged that Gesmer "violated" her children's rights as American citizens. "Judge Ellen Gesmer effectively arrested my children, claiming she had authority under habeas corpus to take them into custody because of a foreign country's court order. But the law is clear that a New York judge cannot enforce any order from a foreign country unless and until the foreign order is 'registered' in the United States," the statement reads.
"Not only was there no Monaco court order registered in New York, no government official from Monaco asked the New York judge to register an order, or take any action against me or my children."
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images
Rutherford and Murphy claim Gesmer had "no right" to seize her children's passports and order them back to Monaco, where her ex-husband Daniel Giersch resides. Neither her children, Hermes, 8, and Helena, 6, nor their father have citizenship in Monaco. The Gossip Girl alum believes Giersch should have been at the hearing and slammed him for not attending the proceedings, claiming he wasn't interested.
"The children's father didn't care enough about his children to be here himself. Contrary to his many false claims, he, like all German citizens, can come to this country anytime on his German passport. But he didn't bother," she writes in the statement. "I did my best to comfort the children, but there are no words to help children understand why a judge would be so cruel."
Rutherford was ordered to return her children to Monaco by last Thursday, but refused. She appeared in court Tuesday to face Gesmer, who reportedly became angry with the actress for violating another court's order.
After Gesmer made her decision, Giersch's lawyer told E! News in a statement, "We are pleased that the American judicial system has prevailed. Daniel's request to exclude the press today from the courtroom was granted, to protect the children's privacy. In addition, his stance of promoting Kelly's time with the children has not changed."
While Rutherford has lost this latest battle in the ongoing war, she writes that she will never give up the fight for custody and further criticized the judge along the way.
"Judge Gesmer lacked the capacity, the will or the knowledge to do the right thing, but I will continue to fight for my children, and one day I will land in the courtroom of a decent judge," she says. "My children ask me all the time if I am still fighting for them, and I always tell them the day will never come when I say 'no.'
"As for Judge Gesmer, she has to live with herself, and if she has a conscience, I suspect she will not sleep well, ever again."
Rutherford later added, "What the judge did yesterday was shocking, illegal, and abusive to my children."