Kelly Rutherford Custody Battle: Monaco Ruling Allows Actress to Spend Two Weeks With Kids

Kelly Rutherford - H 2015
AP Photo/Richard Drew

With her ex petitioning for "sole parental authority" and another hearing scheduled for Nov. 26, the 'Gossip Girl' star's actions are "making it a lot harder for her to get her kids back," says a source close to the six-year dispute.

Actress Kelly Rutherford was upbeat Monday after the latest hearing in Monaco involving the six-year international custody battle with her German ex-husband, Daniel Giersch. Though a final ruling in the case is not expected until Nov. 26, Rutherford was thrilled that the local judge decided to let her be with her children in Monaco for the next two weeks, despite her ex-husband’s bid for sole custody.

"It was a positive outcome today," Rutherford, 46, told The Hollywood Reporter after a lengthy hearing before a Monaco judge to determine whether the children would remain with their father in Monaco or return to the U.S. "I get to be with the kids for a couple of weeks."

Rutherford was accompanied to the courthouse, high above Monaco on what is called "The Rock," by her boyfriend, Tony Brand, her brother and her Monaco attorney Donald Manasse, one of many lawyers who have worked for Rutherford in her custody battle over the years.

But U.S. sources connected with the case tell THR that Rutherford is unlikely to get what she really wants — her children returned to live with her in the U.S. The best she can hope for at present is that the children are allowed to visit her in New York for Christmas, a possibility that is still tenuous given the bad publicity Rutherford got when she disobeyed a Monaco court order and tried to keep the kids in New York this past August.

"Kelly is paying for what she did in August, unfortunately," a source close to the case told THR. "It wasn’t kidnapping — it was a concerned mom not wanting to put her kids on a plane to Monaco. But because of what she did, it’s making it a lot harder for her to get her kids back."

More likely, sources said, Rutherford will be given access to the children in Monaco during holidays and school breaks but will not be allowed to take them out of the principality or France. The decision on Nov. 26 is likely to be handed down as a written ruling and there probably will not be a court hearing.

Monday's lengthy hearing involved Rutherford’s request that the couple's children, Hermes, 9, and Helena, 6, be returned to the U.S. to live with her, which was in direct opposition to Giersch’s bid for what is termed in Monegasque and French law as "sole parental authority." Giersch, 41, has been in possession of the children's passports since August; if he is awarded sole parental authority, the children would not be allowed to return to the U.S. to visit or live with Rutherford, although she could visit them in Monaco. Giersch initially filed for sole custody in October 2014.