Kelly Rutherford Shares Photo of Children Before Latest Stage of International Custody Battle

Gossip Girl actress shares photo with kids ahead of court hearing in Monaco

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 26, 2015 6:21 PMTags
Kelly Rutherford, Children, Custody, BattleInstagram

Kelly Rutherford has her heart set on getting her children back in the United States for good. 

The former Gossip Girl actress shared a photo from her reunion with her two children, son Hermés, 9, and daughter Helena, 6, a candid pic in which the two flaxen-haired kids appear to be preoccupied as mom sneaks a snap. She captioned the shot on Instagram with just a simple red heart. The trio spent time together before Rutherford was due in court in Monaco for the latest hearing in her nearly three-year international custody battle with her children's father, Daniel Giersch.

A source tells E! News that the French court did not make a decision today, but one is expected in the next few weeks.

Rutherford filed for divorce from the German businessman, her second husband, in 2008 while pregnant with Helena and the split was finalized in 2010.

The parents had a joint custody arrangement but, in 2012, when the children traveled to Monaco to spend the summer with their dad, a judge ruled that the kids should remain there and attend school because Giersch, his U.S. visa having been revoked, couldn't travel to the U.S. to see them. Rutherford would then go to Europe to visit her son and daughter.

Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images

This past May, Helena and Hermès flew to the States to visit their mom for the summer and a Los Angeles judge awarded physical custody to Rutherford,  but another judge agreed with Giersch's camp's argument that the California court did not have jurisdiction over the matter. A New York judge also concluded that they didn't have jurisdiction and referred the matter back to the Monaco court.

When Rutherford was supposed to put the kids on a plane back to Monaco in August, she instead refused, prompting an accusation of child abduction from her ex's attorney. A New York judge then ordered the children's return to Europe and they flew back with their paternal grandmother.

"His mother was sitting there with plane tickets smiling ready to take them," Rutherford recalled on Good Morning America. "Nobody had heard our argument. I was accused of things that I was not able to even defend."

"This new jurisdiction vacuum leaves the children with only their American constitutional citizenship rights to protect them from forced exile," Wendy Murphy, Rutherford's New York attorney, told E! News in July. "As rights go, there's nothing stronger than citizenship, so we are optimistic."