As the nasty six-year custody battle between Kelly Rutherford and Daniel Giersch continues, the Gossip Girl star, 46, is not backing down. Her ex-husband recently slammed her for not returning their two children — Hermes, 8, and Helena, 6 — to him in Monaco, calling her actions “child abduction.”
Rutherford refused to let those comments go unanswered, giving a new interview to Good Morning America on Monday, Aug. 10, to tell her side of the story.
“My first priority is to protect my children,” she said on the morning show. “Their safety is my priority. I’m a mother first, and from the beginning, I said I would fight for my children. I think most parents would.”
The actress said that the order for her to return her kids on Aug. 7, which was mandated by a Monaco court, was a tough one for her to abide by.
“It put me, as a parent, in an odd place because if nobody’s taking jurisdiction, how do you put your children on a plane to a foreign country not knowing what’s going to happen?” she asked.
U.S. courts that had previously ruled on this case have since declared themselves unable to try the case in America, leaving the question of custody very much up in the air. A court originally granted Giersch temporary custody of the children in 2012, which was when they went to live in Monaco.
“Temporary means they come back to their own country so what Kelly’s doing is really just respecting what the court said in 2012,” Rutherford’s lawyer Wendy Murphy told GMA. “They’re American citizens. They have a right to live in their own country.”
Off-camera Rutherford also indicated that her children had told her some “alarming” things about their time in Monaco that made her hesitant to return them to their father, reporter Linsey Davis noted, adding she wouldn’t specify what those things are.
Giersch’s attorney released a statement to Us Weekly on Aug. 10, saying, “Daniel will continue to protect the children from any harm and any media exposure. Unfortunately Kelly has now added child abduction to extortion and false statements on her list of actions. Daniel will make sure that the children’s safety and well being will be restored as soon as possible.”
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