It couldn't have been easy for Kelly Rutherford to say goodbye to her two kids in court on Tuesday, Aug. 11, but lawyers for her ex-husband, Daniel Giersch, told Us Weekly and other reporters that the scene inside was very civil. As noted earlier on Tuesday, a Manhattan judge ordered the Gossip Girl actress to return her children, Hermes, 8, and Helena, 6, to Monaco, where their father lives.
"Mrs. Rutherford's sworn statement that she would return the children on the 6th of August, arriving in Europe on the 7th, was upheld today," attorney Robert Michaels said after the hearing, adding that the kids were turned over to their paternal grandmother immediately following the ruling. "They're on their way to the hotel and then to the airport to go back to Monaco to be reunited with their father."
Michaels said there had been no change from the previous custody order, which "entitles Ms. Rutherford free and consistent access to the children in Monaco and to have them come here and spend holidays and half the summer with their mother."
He added, "She has also been offered the opportunity to bring them to school, when the children start school. Basically nothing has changed from the original order; the children will reside mainly with Mr. Giersch in Monaco, [and] she is free to visit anytime she wants and other specified times stated in the agreement."
Rutherford, 46, has been embroiled in a custody battle with her ex for years now, ever since they split in December 2008, when the actress was pregnant with Helena. She wants to keep the kids in the U.S., but a judge ruled in 2012 that it was in their "best interests" to live in Monaco with Giersch, who has been unable to enter the U.S. since his visa was revoked that same year.
Last month, Hermes and Helena arrived in New York to spend the summer with their mother. They were due to return to Europe late last week, but Rutherford announced on Aug. 7 that she could not "send them away in light of the legal actions taken in Monaco" by her ex.
As a result, Rutherford and her legal team were ordered to appear in court on Tuesday morning, along with her children. As previously reported, however, the actress arrived late and without her kids, which seemed to irk the presiding judge. Per an observer, the judge said in court that she "doesn't look kindly on the fact that [Rutherford] didn't produce the children."
The judge subsequently ordered Rutherford to send her son and daughter back to Monaco. They said goodbye in court after being brought in through a side door.
"I think everyone was very professional and well behaved in court," Giersch's attorney Ira Garr said of the reaction to the judge's ruling. "The kids didn't seem to look like they missed a beat — they kissed their mother, they were happy to see their grandmother, and, by the way, they are two beautiful kids."
He continued, "There was no scene. They hugged and said goodbye to their mother, and she said she will see them soon. They easily transitioned to their grandmother, who they love very much. Everything was done very civilly. They were told, 'Oh, you're going to see Poppa, and you're going with Oma.' The kids seemed fine."
Michaels added, "The only complaint they had is that they really wanted to get back to playing."
Rutherford and her ex have another court date scheduled next month in Monaco. "There are issues that are being raised there about custodial decisions, about medical decisions, etc.," Michaels told reporters. "I don't believe there's anything in the September 3rd custody hearing that will affect this custody hearing of access time. [Giersch] will have the children and wants to be able to make decisions for his children."
The lawyers noted, too, that they would be speaking with their client about the events of the past few days to "see if other measures need to be taken" to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
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