Kelly Rutherford, shown here at a QVC Fashion Show in February, lost her custody battle with her ex-husband yesterday and will be forced to fly more than 6,000 miles to see her children in Monaco. Photo via Kelly Rutherford Facebook Fan Page.
Gossip Girl star Kelly Rutherford and ex-husband Daniel Giersch divorced in 2009, but for the last three years they have been involved in a bitter custody battle involving their two children: Hermes, 5, and Helena, 3. In a decision yesterday, the judge in the case ordered the kids to live more than 6,000 miles away from Rutherford, with Giersch in Monaco.
Hermes and Helena have been with Giersch in Monaco since late May, and, because of the judge’s decision, will stay with him instead of returning to their mother in the United States. The judge said his decision was based in part on the fact that Rutherford has a flexible schedule and can easily travel back and forth from Monaco to see her children when she pleases.
Rutherford is reportedly devastated, while Giersch told People Magazine he wasn’t going to comment.
His lawyer, Fahi Takesh Hallin told People Giersch is “focused on co-parenting the children, and continuing to promote any and all contact of the children with Kelly.”
ABC Legal Expert Dana Cole said on Good Morning America today that Rutherford’s star status probably worked against her because the judge assumed she was wealthy and had the means to travel whenever she wanted.
ABC News Legal Analyst Dan Abrams said the judge made the wrong call, though, acting more like a “travel agent” than a judge.
People reported that a source said Giersch’s visa was revoked because of accusations by Rutherford that he was dealing weapons and drugs in South America. If the accusations were true, it was a violation of the Victory Act, which defines the actions as terrorism. The source, however, said the accusations were not true, but the accusation alone was enough to get his visa revoked.
When Abrams spoke on GMA, his coworker Josh Elliott said he hadn’t seen the lawyer this “outraged” in a long time. Abrams went on to say the situation gave him such a reaction because the two kids involved were born in the U.S., were U.S. citizens and were being forced to live in another country solely because their father got “kicked out of the country.”
He added that Rutherford presented the concerns that Gossip Girl was ending and there was a lot of uncertainty about her ability to travel, but the judge disregarded those concerns. Had she been a man, said Abrams, he felt the ruling would have gone differently. Rutherford, he said, is appealing the decision.
“This is the fight of her life, and she’s going to give it everything she’s got,” said Howard Bragman, CEO of reputation.com.
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