The reason Kelly Rutherford lost custody of her kids is heartbreaking
Kelly Rutherford is finally speaking out about the heartbreaking custody battle for her children, which has been going on for the last six years and was stunted by a startling ruling just last week.
"I know it's not right," Rutherford said in an interview with Good Morning America. "Parents know — everyone knows it's not right. I can sit here and tell you how often I cry. I can tell you how it feels to leave my kids in a foreign country and seeing them after not seeing them for weeks on end. Not being able to bring them from school and pick them up from school, dress them, hug them, smell them."
All in all, the case is admittedly complicated. It deals with custody laws not only in the United States but also in Europe. Rutherford's ex-husband, Daniel Giersch, is a citizen of Germany but currently has the children with him in France, after his United States visa was revoked a few years back.
It also deals with citizenship laws since the children are citizens of the United States. The courts are still denying Rutherford's claims to have them returned to her in New York, based on the fact that Giersch can't be in the United States, so the two couldn't feasibly share custody if the children were with her in New York.
According to ABC News, the decision from the federal government last week determined, "They [the children] will retain their United States citizenship and, once they reach the age of majority, they will be free to choose where they reside."
Until then, they are staying with their father in France.
Despite the ruling, Rutherford's attorney, Wendy Murphy, said the actress will never stop fighting, according to Fox News.
The children were originally given to Giersch not because Rutherford was in any way considered an unfit parent, but solely because Giersch wasn't allowed in the United States because his visa was revoked. At the time, the judge said, "The best interests of the children will be served because the relocation plan for France is the only plan that offers the possibility of nearly equal parenting time while Giersch cannot return to the U.S."
This unprecedented ruling has left Rutherford fighting not just for custody of her children, but also for their citizenship rights.
ABC legal analyst, Dan Abrams, called it "one of the worst custody decisions ever" and said Rutherford now has two options, "One is to go back to California and say, 'Hey, California court, have your ruling enforced.' And or, b, make this political, have the State Department get involved, have some leading political figures make a compelling argument that this is ridiculous."
For Giersch's part in the battle, he has actually tried to reenter the United States but was refused. It was then determined in December 2013 that he didn't have to pay for the children to visit Rutherford either.
Giersch's lawyer responded to ABC News' request for comment, saying, "Daniel Giersch continues to protect the children from any negativity and therefore will continue to not engage in any of these unfortunate and false media fabrications which only serve one person but clearly not the children."
Rutherford filed for bankruptcy in June 2013.
"I told my son, 'Mommy is still fighting for you,'" Rutherford said in the Good Morning America interview. "My children, not only were they taken away, but they were sent to a foreign country. I don't even know how you explain to someone what it feels like."