Oh no: I was afraid this was going to happen. Kelly Rutherford is refusing to return her children to Monaco, defying a court order to fly her children back to the country yesterday, despite the fact that two courts in the US (California and New York) have refused to hear her custody case, saying Monaco has jurisdiction.
Kelly said in a statement:
These past three years waiting for my children to come home have been very difficult. My children were forced to leave the United states in 2012 when they were only 2 and 5 years old. In May, a judge in California gave me sole custody and brought them home. I am immensely grateful and overjoyed to have them back. Since May, however, the court proceedings have been confusing.”
Confusing? They’ve all actually been consistent in saying they don’t have jurisdiction to hear the case, since the kids have been living abroad for the past three years, which Kelly is interpreting as:
[This] means no state in this country is currently protecting my children. It also means that no state in this country currently requires me to send the children away. Hence, I have decided that I cannot lawfully send my children away from the United States to live in a foreign country.”
Kelly had this to say of the Monaco court:
The Monaco court treated me with respect when I appeared there earlier this year to file a formal objection to their jurisdiction. I believe Monaco appreciates why it cannot assert jurisdiction over my children, and that Monaco will respect my children’s right to reside in their own country.
“I hope that this decision will end this painful litigation, and that my children will be allowed to live in peace in their own country. Like all German citizens, my ex-husband can presumably travel to the United States on his German passport and exercise his parental rights in this country, just as I have done for the past three years in France and Monaco on my U.S. passport. I pray that officials in this country and in Monaco will agree that three years in exile is a very long time in a child’s life, and that my children have a right to remain, once and for all, in the United States.”
I fear this is going to backfire big-time for Kelly. The fact that the judge in Monaco ordered the kids to spend the summer with her in the US- the first time they’ve been back here since leaving the country in 2012- suggests that the judge understood the importance of her presence in her kids’ lives. This defiance of the court order (to return them to Monaco this week) may prompt them to award sole custody to Daniel Giersch, which is exactly what Kelly feared.
Somehow, I hope this works out, but I have a feeling this action isn’t going to help matters at all.
Photos by FAMEFLYNET