Kelly Rutherford’s custody battle is ongoing and complicated. She’s tried and failed at the federal level to have her two children, Helena, 6, and Hermes, 8, returned to her in the US. A California judge ruled in 2012 that they could live with their German father, Daniel Giersch, overseas. In the latest ruling, the children will come to the US next week for a scheduled visit with her this summer, after some back and forth between custody courts in the US and Monaco.
Along with trying to make this a federal issue, Kelly has petitioned the White House to have her children returned to her. She’s repeatedly said that this is a Constitutional issue and that her children’s rights as citizens have been violated. (Again, a federal court did not agree.) Yesterday, Kelly spoke at a congressional briefing about international child abduction. She has a non-profit called a The Children’s Justice Campaign through which she continues to mischaracterize her ex legally winning custody. Here’s some of what she said:
Rutherford, 46, spoke at a congressional briefing with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee from Texas on Thursday, participating on behalf of the Children’s Justice Campaign, an advocacy group she founded based on her own struggle to bring son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, home to the United States from Monaco, where they have lived with their father, German businessman Daniel Giersch, since 2012.
“Today’s hearing was a wonderful bipartisan showing of support for American families in the midst of international parental child abduction nightmares,” she tells PEOPLE in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to lend my voice to parents who are struggling with these profoundly unjust situations.
“I was particularly excited to hear several members of Congress say that they are proposing new federal legislation that will hold judges accountable and stop them from forcing American children to leave their own country.”
Jackson, 65, chairs the bipartisan House Congressional Children’s Caucus. Rep. Christopher Smith and Rep. Ted Lieu also attended and spoke at the briefing.
International parental child abduction “occurs when one parent unlawfully moves a child from his or her country of residence for the purpose of denying the other parent access to the child,” according to a CRC news release. About 1,000 cases have been reported to the State Department this year.
Rutherford jokingly suggested that by sharing her harrowing tale, she might prevent the pattern from repeating. “I see a lot of young women here today who will probably never marry a foreigner after hearing these stories,” she laughed. “They’re cute. The accents are amazing — but they’re expensive accents.”
On a more serious note: “I fell in love with someone, and I wanted kids. Had I known that this was even possible in my own country, as a mother … it just never occurred to me that this could happen. But it is happening and it is happening every day … to people who have nowhere to go.”
Look, this was not “international child abduction” nor is it an issue that requires any kind of legislative intervention. The Hague Convention on international child abduction does not apply to this case because it was ordered by a judge. In my mind there is no question that judges should have the authority to send children to live in other countries with foreign parents if that’s the best option for the children.
I live in the US, my son’s father lives in Germany and we share custody of our 10 year-old son. My son lives with me, but he spends the summers with his dad and his dad visits him frequently. Obviously I don’t know Kelly’s ex, but the reason I side with him is because I’ve read and paid attention to everything both he and Kelly have said, and I read the judge’s decision. Everything Kelly has done seems geared to cut Daniel out of his children’s lives, and she’s still talking like this even though he has the children full time. She had the guy deported. She acts as if the US is the only place the children should be raised when in fact they seem to be well cared for by their dad and grandparents and they go to an excellent international school.
She’s treating this like child abduction when it’s not, it was a judge’s decision. Yes, I should not assume that her ex is as reasonable as mine, but I’m reasonable too. You have to be when you’re co-parenting. This woman just does not seem to get it at all, and it sounds like she wants to “win” this custody battle instead of trying to consider what’s best for her children. Maybe her ex is the same though, but if so he’s played it incredibly close to his chest.
Oh and as for the things Kelly said about marrying foreign guys, she sounds like an a–hole.
Kelly Instagrammed so many photos of her visit yesterday, including this one which is composed of multiple face shots.