Following a custody hearing in Monaco Monday, Kelly Rutherford’s two children, Helena, 6, and Hermes, 8, will be allowed to fly to the U.S. on July 3 to spend the summer with their mom. This ruling comes after some back and forth about which country had jurisdiction over the case, which as far as I can tell has not yet been formally decided. The children have resided in Monaco since 2012 with their father, Daniel Giersch, after a California judge ruled they should reside with him. After this latest ruling, Kelly’s lawyer gave quotes to People claiming her client will eventually regain physical custody of the children, which is typical of Kelly’s side. If they would focus more on their court strategy instead of the press they might have been able to avoid some of this legal wrangling.
A judge has ordered that Helena, 6, and Hermes, 8, fly to the United States on July 3 to spend the summer with their mother – but as of now, they’ll return to Monaco at the end of their trip to continue living with their father, whom Rutherford divorced in 2009.
“I am pleased with the outcome and that the children will be coming to the US for a part of their summer vacation,” Rutherford said in a statement to PEOPLE. “I am reassured by the Monaco process and the judge. Although I still maintain my legal objections about Monaco hearing the case, my serenity is restored.”
Rutherford, 46, and Giersch, 41, each had two attorneys by their side as they gathered in the judge’s chambers in the courthouse, which sits high atop the Rock of Monaco, across from the famous cathedral where Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly are buried.
But Wendy Murphy, who represents the children on behalf of Rutherford in New York, insists the court didn’t have the power to make any formal ruling, adding that Rutherford objects to Monaco claiming jurisdiction.
“The children are allowed to come to the U.S. because Monaco knows it has no authority to assert jurisdiction,” she tells PEOPLE. “So it’s not that Monaco ‘allowed’ the children to return to their own country, it’s that they had no choice – because American citizens can never be forced to live in a foreign country – period. Unless the kids are dual citizens – and these kids are not.”
Giersch’s California attorney, Fahi Takesh Hallin, told PEOPLE earlier this month that the German businessman had no problem sending their son and daughter to the States for the summer, as he had done ever since their 2012 arrangement went into effect. But Rutherford was wary…
Rutherford and Giersch will face off in a Los Angeles court July 9.
Murphy says she believes the L.A. judge will rule in her client’s favor following this month’s allegation that Giersch forged an email about the terms of his visa revocation. (Hallin shot down the accusation, calling the revocation “unfortunately very real.”)
“Monaco only asserted jurisdiction because the kids were living there for so long – which was caused by this country – but only because the children’s father submitted a fraudulent document and falsely claimed he was unable to enter the United States,” Murphy says.
“Now we look forward to the California court in July fixing this mess and bringing the children home for good,” she adds. “Their father can visit them here as he should have from day one because he is free to enter this country on a passport.”
I really don’t think that email from the Berlin Embassy/Consulate was faked, as we discussed recently, but we’ll have to wait and see what the US judge says. Assuming the judge agrees with Kelly’s lawyer and finds that email fraudulent, is that enough to send the children to live with their mom in the US permanently?
Here are some photos of Kelly at an appearance in Berlin over the weekend. (She’s in a red dress. The photos of her in white are from 2013.) I’m sure we’ll see plenty of photos of her kids dressed all in white once she has them with her in the states. That’s great that they’ll get to spend time with their mom this summer. I don’t think awarding Kelly custody would be in her children’s best interests, but that seems like a long shot anyway.
Photo credit: WENN.com