Kelly Rutherford has exhausted all resources while trying to regain primary physical custody of her two children with ex Daniel Giersch. Opening up to E! News, the Gossip Girl actress says her legal bills are mounting as she fights to bring them back to New York City.
(In August 2012, a judge ruled that 5-year-old Hermes and 3-year-old Helena must live in Monaco with their father; Rutherford's ex, a German businessman, no longer has a visa allowing him to reside in the United States.)
"Every penny from Gossip Girl, my pension, my stocks has been spent fighting for my children," Rutherford reveals. "This fight has brought me to the brink of bankruptcy."
The 44-year-old star says the judge's decision to grant Giersch primary physical custody in Monaco is "like aiding someone to kidnap my children. . . If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. You never think this is possible in your own country."
Rutherford was pregnant with Helena when she and Giersch started divorce proceedings in 2009. "I said, 'I don't want any money. I don't want anything. Let's figure out a great plan for the kids,'" she recalls. "The relationship was obviously not working. And four years later, this is where I am."
Until his visa is reinstated, Giersch is required by law to provide Rutherford with plane tickets, a car and a place to stay in France. Though the actress visits her children often, she tells E! News coming home without them feels like "being in a park full of laughing happy children, and then the next day you walk by the park and it's empty."
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