Kelly Rutherford Refuses to Return Kids to Monaco Amid Custody Battle: Read Her Statement

Kelly Rutherford Refuses to Return Kids to Monaco Amid Custody Battle: Read Her Statement

Not backing down. Despite a recent ruling, Kelly Rutherford is refusing to send her children back to Monaco to live with their father and her ex-husband, German businessman Daniel Giersch. The Gossip Girl actress released a plea to help gain custody of her son Hermes, 8, and daughter Helena, 6, on Friday, Aug. 7.

PHOTOS: Best Gossip Girl style

"These past three years waiting for my children to come home have been very difficult. My children were forced to leave the United states in 2012 when they were only 2 and 5 years old," Rutherford, 46, wrote in a statement. "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 confusing."

“My ex-husband recently filed for sole custody in Monaco after causing my children to be declared ‘habitual residents’ there, even though he agreed with California in 2012 that the children’s time in France and Monaco would be temporary, and that the children would retain exclusive citizenship and residency in the United States,” she continued. “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 by my ex-husband.”

PHOTOS: Gossip Girl stars -- then and now

Rutherford and Giersch split in 2010 after four years of marriage and have been battling for custody ever since. In May, she was awarded temporary sole custody of her children and finally reunited with them in NYC in July. On July 3, she looked elated - with her children by her side - as she kissed her boyfriend Tony Brand outside an apartment building.

"I am over the moon that my children are back in the United States," she told Us Weekly at the time. "I haven't stopped hugging and kissing them."

PHOTOS: Best TV moms

Rutherford spent a couple of weeks with her children, but did not comply with orders to fly them back to Monaco on Thursday. "The Monaco court treated me with respect when I appeared there earlier this year to file a formal objection to their jurisdiction," she continued in her statement. "I believe Monaco appreciates why it cannot assert jurisdiction over my children, and that Monaco will respect my children's right to reside in their own country."

She added: “I pray that officials in this country and in Monaco will agree that three years in exile is a very long time in a child's life, and that my children have a right to remain, once and for all, in the United States."

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics, and more delivered straight to your inbox!