It’s a happy day for Kelly Rutherford, who has won a long battle for her two children to return to the United States. Rutherford’s son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, had been living with their father, Daniel Giersch, in Monaco since 2012. On Friday, a California judge granted the Gossip Girl actress temporary sole custody, ordering the children to be returned to L.A. with Rutherford having possession of their passports.
Rutherford still has to wait and see if Monaco will agree with the California court’s ruling. “It has long been our position that Monaco has no jurisdiction because Hermes and Helena, as American citizens, have an absolute right to live in their own country,” Wendy Murphy, Rutherford’s lawyer said in a statement to People. A hearing at the L.A. Superior Court is also scheduled for June 15.
The actress filed for divorce from Giersch—a German businessman—in 2009. She had been battling their custody plan since 2012, when Giersch’s U.S. visa had been revoked and he failed to reapply. Although the parents had joint custody, a California court ruled for the children to live with Giersch in Europe with Rutherford flying out to visit. During her last trip, Giersch refused to let Rutherford see their son and daughter unless she turned over their passports to someone on his legal team.
In late April, Rutherford launched a White House petition asking President Obama for help with her case. Chuck Bass (her Gossip Girl co-star Ed Westwick) and Kim Kardashian showed support for Rutherford by sharing the petition. Kim also posted a congratulatory tweet after hearing the recent news.
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