Last week, a court ruled Kelly Rutherford's two children are to continue living abroad with her ex-husband in the newest decision made in the couple's six-year custody dispute. And now the actress is opening up about the devastating legal setback.
"My children, not only were they taken away, but they were sent to a foreign country," Kelly 46, said while holding back tears in a new interview. "I don't know how you even explain to someone what it feels like."
Kelly during her 'ABC News' interview on April 14. (Photo Credit: R/R)
When the 'Gossip Girl' star filed for divorce from her ex-husband, German businessman Daniel Giersch, in 2008, the couple agreed on joint legal and physical custody of their kids, son Hermés, 8, and daughter Helena, 5.
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But in April 2012, Daniel, 40, was deported from the US when his visa was revoked over his allegedly fraudulent business practices. At that time, a California Superior Court judge ruled Hermés and Helena should reside in France because their father is unable to travel to visit them in the US.
Kelly with her two kids, Hermés and Helena, in August 2013. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Kelly subsequently appealed the court's decision and argued the state of California unconstitutionally deported her children to a foreign country. The judge disagreed, however, and stated the children were not deported because they retain their American citizenship.
On April 9, a federal court decision upheld the couple's shared visitation agreement and denied the actress' pleas to grant her full custody of her two young kids.
Kelly with Daniel and Hermés in March 2008. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"I could sit here and tell you how often I cry. I could tell you how it feels to leave my kids in a foreign country," she said. "To go see them [in France] after not seeing them for weeks on end — not being able to take them to school, pick them up from school, dress them, smell them, hug them [is heartbreaking]."
"I know it's not right. Parents know. Everyone knows it's not right!" Kelly — who was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2013 because of her more than $1.5 million debt from legal fees — told 'ABC News' of the court's newest ruling.
Watch's Kelly's emotional interview with 'ABC News' in the video below.
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