Actress Kelly Rutherford has taken a battle for her two children to the White House.
A petition has been filed with whitehouse.gov seeking a federal order to allow her young children to move back to the US. A judge in France previously ordered that the children live in France with her husband.
“This is a political issue now,” Rutherford told sources, adding that her children’s “constitutional rights should have been put before our parental rights,” meaning that as American citizens, her kids should not have been deported.
Best-known to television audiences as Lily van der Woodsen on the hit show Gossip Girl, Kelly played the matriarch in New York for 6 seasons culminating in December of 2012.
She is also known for her former roles in television shows Melrose Place, Homefront, and E-Ring.
Rutherford is a devoted single mom to her kids and an advocate of women’s and children’s charities including StepUp Women’s Network, Healthy Child Healthy World, and she is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Free Arts.
Rutherford lost a bid to keep her children in the U.S. after a judge refused to overturn a previous court ruling that they should live with their father in France.
She has spent two years flying back and forth from France to see her children, who live with her ex-husband Daniel Giersch.
German-born Giersch had his O1 visa – granted to individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement – revoked two years ago. The State Department will not comment on the reason for this, only to say it is classified. This prompted a court to give him custody of the children in France in 2012 as he cannot legally enter the U.S. He will not comment on the case. He later took the kids to Monaco, where they have citizenship.
In 2012, a California judge ordered that the children live with Giersch in France after his work visa was revoked, preventing him from living in the US. Rutherford appealed but lost.