LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Hollywood actress Kelly Rutherford is refusing to send her children back to their father in Monaco as per a court-ordered agreement.
The Gossip Girl alum has been battling her ex-husband, German businessman Daniel Giersch, for custody of their American-born kids for the past several years.
Since Giersch has said his visa was revoked and he could not visit their son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, in the United States, a judge granted him custody of the children until he sorted the matter out.
Although the children live full-time in Monaco, they were allowed to spend the summer with Rutherford in the United States, with the stipulation they return home to Europe at the end of their monthlong holiday this week.
"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," Rutherford said in a statement to Us Weekly.
"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," her statement said. "My ex-husband recently filed for sole custody in Monaco after causing my children to be declared 'habitual residents' there, even though he agreed with California in 2012 that the children's time in France and Monaco would be temporary, and that the children would retain exclusive citizenship and residency in the United States. I trusted my ex-husband's agreement, and cannot now send them away in light of the legal actions taken in Monaco in violation of that agreement by my ex-husband. 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 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."