Kelly Rutherford may have won over audiences as the strong matriarch of the Van Der Woodsen clan on the teen soap “Gossip Girl,” but in real life, her life as a mother hasn’t been smooth sailing.
The actress, who married German businessman Daniel Giersch in 2007, is currently embroiled in a custody battle with her now ex-husband, who has moved their children to France for half of each year, in accordance with a judge’s ruling.
Rutherford stopped by “The View” on Thursday and quickly broke down upon seeing photos of her children.
“They’re in France. I last saw them about a week ago,” Rutherford explained. “They were supposed to start school the next day. Originally, [the judge] took them out of school a month early to go to France with no return date – we had to go in and ask that there was a return date from the summer. [She] basically said I could go visit.”
The actress, who filed for divorce from Giersch while she was three months pregnant due to her suspicions he had been unfaithful, explained that the judge made the decision to send the children to France after Giersch had been deported from the United States after accusations he had been dealing drugs and weapons.
“The only things the judge cited for anything she did wrong were when she feared he might abduct the kids to Europe, the judge accused her, in effect, of not giving him enough access,” noted legal analyst Dan Abrams. “The judge also had some questions about Kelly’s work schedule, etcetera. Apart from that, no allegations of bad parenting.”
“You married this man Daniel, you loved him, and you say now you don’t even know who he is,” mentioned Sherri Shepherd.
“We were married for 18 months. It’s not an extremely long time. We had two kids – I left when I was three months pregnant because I was pretty scared about what I was finding out about him and what was going on. There were just a lot of strange things going on,” said Rutherford. “I said, ‘Let’s separate,’ and he just came at me.”
“I don’t think he would intentionally harm the children… but I do think the children are at risk,” explained Rutherford. “I just want them to be OK… He could disappear tomorrow and I don’t know where to look. There’s no way to trace him. There’s no bank accounts, there’s no tax records, there’s nothing. My biggest fear is that I won’t know where they are.”