Kris Connor/ Getty Images
Kris Connor/ Getty Images
UPDATE: A federal judge has rejected Kelly Rutherford's last-minute attempt to bring her children back to America. According to People, the judge denied Rutherford's petition and tossed the suit the same day it was filed on the grounds that the case was a state matter, court records showed.
Kelly Rutherford says she's somewhat "glad" her two children were not given any advance notice when they were ordered to fly to Monaco to be with their father, with whom she has been involved in a more than six-year international custody battle, and denies allegations of kidnapping over her initial refusal to let them travel.
The 46-year-old Gossip Girl alum's ex, German citizen Daniel Giersch, is unable to travel to the United States, as his visa was revoked. They currently share custody of U.S.-born son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, who have lived with their father in Monaco primarily since 2012. A judge there had allowed Rutherford to host the children in the United States for part of the summer and return them last week. She refused to have them fly back and her ex accused her of child abduction.
Earlier this week, a New York Supreme Court judge signed a writ of habeas corpus, filed by Giersch, and ordered her and her kids to appear in a courtroom. They waited outside the building. The judge ordered them to return to Monaco. Giersch's mother was in the courtroom, waiting for them.
"I just feel like their voices have not been heard," Rutherford said on Good Morning America on Friday. "I walked into a court room where everything felt like it was already done. It was a done deal. His mother was sitting there with plane tickets smiling ready to take them. Nobody had heard our argument I was accused of things that I was not able to even defend."
Rutherford denied her ex's accusation of child abduction, for which no charges were filed.
"I think kidnapping is when no one knows where their children are and I was in communication," she said. "The kids were Skyping with him every day. I wrote him an email telling him exactly that nobody had jurisdiction in my country and I was concerned."
"You know, I'm glad they didn't have any notice in a way," she added. "I think it would have been harder. I think it was in a moment, 'Oh, your Grandma is here and now were gonna go. You're gonna go see your dad'...We just all had to sort of be up for them and you know, I was happy the way it ended up happening because they didn't have to sit in the courtroom and watch it all happen or deal with media or anything. That would have been harmful, I think."
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Giersch has not commented. After the judge issued the ruling, his lawyer told E! News in a statement, "We are pleased that the American judicial system has prevailed" and that "his stance of promoting Kelly's time with the children has not changed."
Rutherford had tried acquiring primary custody of the children in California and initially succeeded but another court had later said the state has no jurisdiction over the matter, after Giersch challenged the decision. Later, a judge in New York, where Rutherford spends most of her time, said the same.
A custody hearing in Monaco has been scheduled for Sept. 3.