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The latest defiance of court orders may hurt Kelly Rutherford's ability to see her children again, especially after the actress lost her most recent battle in an international custody battle, a legal analyst said Wednesday.
“Now she has a world wide reputation as someone who doesn’t listen to judges," attorney Lisa Green said on TODAY. "Judges loathe that."
On Tuesday, a New York judge ordered the children of The “Gossip Girl” actress to head back to Europe, where Daniel Giersch, the children's father and Rutherford’s ex-husband, lives. Giersch has raised their children in Monaco since 2012.
The development comes after the children — Hermes, 8, and Helena, 6 — spent part of their summer in New York with their mother, who then refused to send them back last week to their dad, as agreed.
“It didn’t help her case at all to disobey what a court ordered. It doesn’t matter if you’re a judge in New York, California or Monaco, where this case ends up. No like judge likes it when she some one decides to take the law in her own hands,” Green said.
In a statement released Wednesday through her lawyer, Rutherford said the New York judge who made the latest ruling lacked the authority to enforce a foreign nation's order.
"What the judge did yesterday was shocking, illegal, and abusive to my children," she said.
Rutherford said the New York State Supreme Court Judge Ellen Gesmer “effectively arrested my children” by ordering them to separate from their mother.
"I did my best to comfort the children, but there are no words to help children understand why a judge would be so cruel," Rutherford said.
The legal acrobats around the case has been confusing. In May, A Los Angeles judge gave Rutherford full custody over her children, but then two months later, another California judge declared the state did not have jurisdiction. Shortly after that announcement, a judge in New York, where Rutherford now spends most of her time, also said his state does not have jurisdiction. A court in Monaco took over jurisdiction in 2014.
The couple has another court hearing, this time in Monaco, on September 3.
“There’s a home court advantage for the father,” Green said of the case moving to Monaco. “And no one is alleging that he’s a bad parent, nor is anyone alleging that Kelly is a bad parents, she’s just losing time to get them back to the States.”
Even though the children are American citizens, most judges will probably take into consideration where the children have spent most of their lives.
“In international cases, what matters the most is where the kids are resident, and you saw those kids, they’re going to school, they have friends, they’re bilingual,” she said. “Every passing day, it’s better for the dad.”