The custody battle between former "Gossip Girl" actress Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband Daniel Giersch over their two children has flared up again.
Rutherford, who was supposed to have flown with daughter Helena and son Hermés to their father in Monaco at the end of last week, is staying home in the U.S. with them.
"These past three years waiting for my children to come home have been very difficult," a statement from the actress given to E! News began. "My children were forced to leave the United States in 2012 when they were only two and five 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 very confusing."
To say the least. Although a Los Angeles judge gave Rutherford full custody over her children (who had largely been living in Monaco with Giersch since 2012) in May, in July another California judge declared the state did not have jurisdiction. Shortly after that announcement, a judge in New York (where Rutherford lives most of the time) also said his state does not have jurisdiction.
A court in Monaco took over jurisdiction in 2014.
Those decisions mean "no state in this country is currently protecting my children," Rutherford's statement went on. "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."
According to Rutherford's statement, Giersch had the children declared "habitual residents" in Monaco, and that he agreed they would only live temporarily with him when they were sent over in 2012.
Giersch's attorney Fahi Takesh Hallin told E! News in a statement, "Daniel will continue to protect the children from any harm and any media exposure. Unfortunately Kelly has now added child abduction to extortion and false statements on her list of actions. Daniel will make sure that the children's safety and well-being will be restored as soon as possible. He is very concerned about the traumatic impact that Kelly's behavior will have on the children."
Hallin added, "Kelly was to have delivered the children in France to their father on August 7, 2015. Child abduction is a crime, and everyone involved in kidnapping or abducting the children will face the appropriate legal consequences. Anyone associating themselves with Kelly and her abduction is violating the law."
"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," said Rutherford. She added that she hoped the Monaco court "will respect [her] children's right to reside in their own country."
A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 3 in Monaco.