Former “Melrose Place” and “Gossip Girl” actress Kelly Rutherford told a Los Angeles judge Thursday that she currently lives mostly in New York but also has ties to California and periodically stays at the home of her mother and stepfather.
Rutherford is hoping Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas will enforce a previous order in which he gave the actress temporary custody to bring her children to California. The decision overturned a ruling in 2013 by Judge Teresa Beaudet, who said the children could remain overseas with ex-husband Daniel Giersch.
However, Juhas put his order on hold after Giersch’s lawyers demonstrated to another judge that a court in Monaco, where Giersch has been living with the former couple’s son, 8, and daughter, 6, also is handling custody issues.
Juhas said the issue before him is whether he has jurisdiction to rule on the case given that Giersch’s lawyers argue Rutherford can have only one legal residence, that she has spent most of her time in New York the last three years and that she sold her West Hollywood home in March 2013.
Rutherford’s attorneys maintain a person can have two legal residences and that Rutherford has business ties here, receives her medical care in California and visits her family and friends in the Southland.
Under questioning by Giersch’s attorney, Fahi Takesh Hallin, Rutherford acknowledged she has a New York driver’s license and files income tax returns in that state.
Asked by Hallin whether she had publicly stated she has spent $200,000 traveling to Europe to get her children and “bring them home to New York,” Rutherford replied, “I’m happy to have them come to New York or California. I think we can call it New York/California.”
Rutherford said she sold her West Hollywood home because of a bankruptcy proceeding. She said her children have been visiting with her at her New York apartment since July 3. They are scheduled to be returned to their father on Aug. 6, she said.
She said much of her social media posts refer to New York because they date back to her “Gossip Girl” days. The show was primarily filmed there.
At one point Juhas said he was concerned about Hallin’s line of questioning given that it focused so much on New York and not on California.
“Your honor, there is no evidence to tell you about California because she no longer lives in California,” Hallin said.
A lighter moment came during the testimony when the 46-year-old actress, who at several points seemed frustrated with Hallin’s questions, began trying to chat with Juhas from the witness stand.
“We can’t have a conversation,” Juhas said.
“I know, I want to talk to you so bad,” Rutherford replied.
Rutherford and Giersch married in 2006 and he filed for divorce in Los Angeles two years later. The divorce was finalized in July 2010. Giersch did not attend today’s hearing, but was linked to it by a video camera.
— Wire reports