Parental Alienation in Divorce: The Kelly Rutherford Divorce Saga
Kelly Rutherford, who portrays the glamorous matriarch Lily Van der Woodsen on the hit series “Gossip Girl,” has been hitting the morning talk show circuit to expose the supposed injustice of a recent order by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Teresa Beaudet, that in effect gave primary physical custody of Rutherford’s two young children to their father, German business man, Daniel Giersch. Giersch resides in France in his mother’s boyfriend’s house.
I question Rutherford’s and her legal team’s strategy of doing this, as in my experience, judges generally do not like to be told they are wrong, and like even less to be mocked and called un-American in the press. According to media outlets, this is not the final order in the case, and it is not unfathomable that Rutherford could find herself back in front of Beaudet with a lot of explaining to do. Rutherford’s daytime TV appearances have done nothing to show the Court or the American public that she is attempting to foster a harmonious relationship with her ex for the benefit of their two children, five-year-old Hermes and three-year-old Helena. Giersch and his attorney have wisely, in my opinion, declined to comment on the case.
Rutherford filed for divorce from Giersch in 2009, when she was two months pregnant with Helena. A very ugly divorce and custody battle ensued, prompting Rutherford to refuse to put Giersch’s name on Helena’s birth certificate even after being ordered to do so several times by the Court, something that would eventually sound the death knell for her custodial rights. In April 2012, Giersch’s visa was revoked, preventing him from returning to the United States.
Rutherford maintains that no explanation has ever been given, nor has the Court taken any interest in, why Giersch’s visa was revoked. People Magazine and ABC News reported that Giersch’s visa was revoked because he was accused of “dealing drugs and weapons,” acts of terrorism under the Victory Act, while an affidavit presented in the custody case accuses him of fraud. Giersch insists that his visa was revoked because of false allegations about his businesses reported to the State Department by Rutherford and her lawyers.
Since Giersch’s visa was revoked, and prior to the Court’s ruling, Rutherford had been traveling with the children from New York to Bermuda, Canada, and France to afford Giersch parenting time. On August 28, 2012, Beaudet ruled that the children should attend school and reside full-time with Giersch in France. The Judge stated in her ruling that “