Kelly Rutherford may play the anti-emotional Lily Van Der Woodsen on Gossip Girl, but in real life, the actress has opened-up about the tragedy that was her divorce and custody battle.
Appearing on Good Morning America Sept. 14, Kelly Rutherford told viewers that she was afraid her now ex-husband Daniel Giersch would abduct her children. Giersch, who lives in France after being expelled from the United States, won the battle their two kids, ages three and five were sent to live with him across the country. The children were ordered to move to France with their German father by Judge Theresa Beaudet on Aug. 28, according to ABC News.
Kelly Rutherford maintained a joint custody agreement since their 2010 divorce, after four years of marriage. Rutherford began seeking a divorce, when she was pregnant with her second child, after suspicions of infidelity on Giersch’s part. With accusations in the air and nasty reports regarding the divorce appearing in the media, the divorce turned from battle to war. Rutherford thought that due to the divorce’s bitter and dirty nature, Giersch would simply take the children without asking.
“I brought this up and it was basically — brushed off, like it was nothing,” she told GMA.
After Giersch was revoked of his American visa (for reasons unknown), Kelly Rutherford maintained their joint custody agreement by traveling to Bermuda, Canada and France so that the children could see their father. The decision to send the children to France to be with their father permanently is in the best interest of the children, according to the Judge Beaudet.
“The best interests of the children will be served because the relocation plan for France is the only plan that offers the possibility of nearly equal parenting time while Giersch cannot return to the U.S.,” Judge Beaudet said.
The children are not to return to the United States despite being born citizens. Kelly Rutherford is working to pay legal bills, and is still working with her lawyer to change her children’s home address.
“Their entire lives they’d lived in New York City, they were going to school in New York City. They’re American citizens,” said Rutherford to GMA.