The more we hear from Kelly Rutherford in her custody battle, the more desperate she sounds. (Which, to be fair, is how many people would feel in her situation.) Kelly has been fighting to bring her children back to live in the US with her after a judge ruled in 2012 that her son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, could live overseas with their father, Daniel Giersch, a German citizen. In her ruling the judge cited the fact that Kelly’s lawyer was instrumental in getting her ex’s visa to the US revoked.
The judge’s ruling stated that the children could stay with their father in Monaco until the end of the school year when his visa was restored. Kelly asserts that Giersch has not applied for another visa.
In the latest twist in their ongoing custody battle, Kelly’s lawyer claims that Daniel’s side falsified an email submitted to the court from an arguably non-existent US Consulate in Berlin. The email claims that Daniel’s US visa has been revoked and that he must surrender it. Daniel’s lawyer says that the email is authentic. You can see the email on People.com and here’s part of People’s report.
Although they technically share joint custody, Giersch, who lived in Los Angeles with Rutherford, 46, before their breakup, left the country in 2012 when his U.S. visa was revoked. So Rutherford has had to travel back and forth to Europe to see her children – by her count, more than 70 times.
But on Thursday, her legal team dropped a bombshell, alleging that an email the German businessman submitted during the 2012 trial about his visa being revoked was falsified.
“We brought to the California court’s attention for the first time today, the fact that a fraudulent email purporting to be sent to the children’s father by the U.S. Embassy in Berlin was submitted to the court in 2012 to justify the California court’s initial decision to make the children leave the United States and reside abroad,” attorney Wendy Murphy, who has been representing the children on behalf of Rutherford in federal court, said in a statement to PEOPLE.
Despite those claims, a Los Angeles judge declined to consider the matter Thursday during a teleconference discussing whether California or Monaco should have jurisdiction.
“Shockingly, the judge today ignored that evidence that that email was forged, though the record is clear that the email was never authenticated by either the father or the court, and it is abundantly clear that the document is not authentic as it is signed by the ‘US Consulate in Berlin’ and there is NO consulate in Berlin – there is only an embassy,” Murphy said. “The idea that a fraudulent document would lead to the forced exile of American citizens is unconscionable.”
However, Giersch’s attorney Fahi Takesh Hallin shot down the allegation.
“As our papers filed today indicate, the visa revocation was unfortunately very real,” Hallin told PEOPLE in a statement.
No one is denying that Giersch’s visa was revoked, Murphy says: The question is whether the language in the email he submitted to the court is accurate.
Murphy claims an expert pointed out three irregularities in the note: It’s signed by the U.S. embassy in Berlin but there is only a consulate in the German capital, and there is no date of visa revocation or date the visa was issued.
It’s true that there is no US Consulate in Berlin. There is an embassy on Clayalee in Zehlendorf, I used to live in Berlin and have been there to renew my passport. The embassy is often referred to as the consulate by locals. There is a “Consular Section” of that embassy, as this email references correctly, and I was also able to confirm that the originating email address, ConsBerlin@state.gov, exists. I looked for example emails from ConsBerlin to see if I could verify that they would sign off an email as “U.S. Consulate Berlin” and all I found was this email from a Consular Assistant. So it’s unclear from my brief research and minor personal experience whether there’s evidence that this email could be valid.
We do know of course that Giersch’s visa was revoked, and that Rutherford’s lawyer was responsible. Maybe that explains why the judge allegedly ignored this claim that the email was faked. That plus all the other claims that Rutherford has made over the years.
The Daily Beast has a new interview with Kelly, which includes veiled accusations that Giersch was planning to abscond with the children all along. She claims that he “kept pressuring me to get [Hermes] a German passport” when the baby was six months old. I married a German guy and we got our son a German passport a few months after he was born. This is just what you do when your child has a parent from another country so that they have the advantage of dual citizenship. Kelly of course never mentions the key fact that she’s the one who had the guy barred from the country.
Kelly also makes it sound in that interview as if Giersch had shady business deals and was using her for her money and fame. He is somewhat litigious, he won a lawsuit against Google to retain the rights to the Gmail name in the EU, which he trademarked in 2000. He also developed an app called Blipcard that allows people to send physical postcards from digital photos.