Hours after Sophie Turner filed court documents suing estranged husband Joe Jonas for the "immediate return" of their daughters to England, Jonas issued a response saying he is seeking "shared parenting" across the U.K. and U.S.
Attorneys for Turner filed a petition in New York's Southern District that alleges “wrongful retention of two children” in New York City by Jonas from “their habitual residence in England.”
Per Turner's legal filing, their daughters are “both fully involved and integrated in all aspects of daily and cultural life in England.” Their older daughter attended school in England and both receive medical care there, the filing says.
Turner's petition also stated that she and Jonas met on Sept. 17 to discuss their separation and a plan for their children to return to England. Jonas, afterward, refused to give Turner her children's passports or to send them to England, the petition says.
Turner’s petition was filed under the The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and International Child Abduction Remedies Act; Turner's filing does not directly accuse Jonas of abduction, but says the court has jurisdiction under the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.
A statement from Jonas' rep gives a different take on that "cordial" meeting.
"Joe’s impression of the meeting was that they had reached an understanding that they would work together towards an amicable co-parenting setup. Less than 24 hours later, Sophie advised that she wanted to take the children permanently to the U.K. Thereafter, she demanded via this filing that Joe hand over the children’s passports so that she could take them out of the country immediately," the statement reads.
If he complies, Jonas would violate an existing court order that prevents both Jonas and Turner from relocating their children amid their divorce, the statement said.
Jonas' rep's statement says the intention of Turner's filing is to "move the divorce proceedings to the U.K. and to remove the children from the U.S. permanently."
The statement also refuted Turner's allegation that she learned of the divorce on Sept. 5 in media headlines, as her filing stated. Jonas' rep says he filed for divorce "after multiple conversations with Sophie."
"Sophie was aware that Joe was going to file for divorce," the statement read.
The statement characterized Turner's petition as "an unfortunate legal disagreement about a marriage that is sadly ending."
It concludes, "His wish is that Sophie reconsider her harsh legal position and move forward in a more constructive and private manner. His only concern is the well-being of his children.”
TODAY.com has reached out to Turner for comment.
Read Joe Jonas' response statement in full
“After multiple conversations with Sophie, Joe initiated divorce proceedings in Florida, as Florida is the appropriate jurisdiction for the case. Sophie was aware that Joe was going to file for divorce. The Florida Court has already entered an order that restricts both parents from relocating the children. Sophie was served with this order on September 6, 2023, more than two weeks ago.
"Joe and Sophie had a cordial meeting this past Sunday in New York, when Sophie came to New York to be with the kids. They have been with her since that meeting. Joe’s impression of the meeting was that they had reached an understanding that they would work together towards an amicable co-parenting setup.
"Less than 24 hours later, Sophie advised that she wanted to take the children permanently to the UK. Thereafter, she demanded via this filing that Joe hand over the children’s passports so that she could take them out of the country immediately. If he complies, Joe will be in violation of the Florida Court order.
“Joe is seeking shared parenting with the kids so that they are raised by both their mother and father, and is of course also okay with the kids being raised both in the U.S. and the UK. The children were born in the U.S. and have spent the vast majority of their lives in the U.S. They are American citizens.
“This is an unfortunate legal disagreement about a marriage that is sadly ending. When language like 'abduction' is used, it is misleading at best, and a serious abuse of the legal system at worst. The children were not abducted. After being in Joe’s care for the past three months at the agreement of both parties, the children are currently with their mother. Sophie is making this claim only to move the divorce proceedings to the UK and to remove the children from the U.S. permanently.
“Joe has already disavowed any and all statements purportedly made on his behalf that were disparaging of Sophie. They were made without his approval and are not consistent with his views. His wish is that Sophie reconsider her harsh legal position and move forward in a more constructive and private manner. His only concern is the well-being of his children.”