Iâ€™m SICK over the Kelly Rutherford mess.
The bruising international battle with her ex-husband over the primary custody of their two adorable little kids just went nuclear.
â€œItâ€™s just been really hard being up against someone who has a lot of money,â€ Rutherford, 46, the American actress mom of two American-born kids, best known for having appeared in the TV show â€œGossip Girl,â€™â€™ told me about her German-citizen ex. She accused his representatives of planting stories in the media that make her appear to be a subpar mom.
â€œImmediately, it was, â€˜Iâ€™m going to take you down.â€™ Itâ€™s full-blown war!â€™â€™ she said.
We talked between her Skype sessions with her children, who live an ocean away in Monaco with their shady father, Daniel Giersch, 41.
â€œI love my children! I wonâ€™t give up on them,â€™â€™ she told me. â€œThe kids should be educated in their own country.â€™â€™ Thatâ€™s the United States, not France, where theyâ€™re currently enrolled in school.
â€œIâ€™ve been on a plane to see them going on 80 times now over the years.
â€œIâ€™ll always fight for my children.â€™â€™ She paused, a sob catching in her throat. â€œAt the same time, he wonâ€™t back off.â€™â€™
Whatâ€™s a mother to do? I say â€” fight!
Itâ€™s been an awful three years for Kelly Rutherford and her kids, Hermes, 8, and Helena, 6, children who spent their young lives mainly living in New York City.
That changed in 2012, when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa Beaudet ruled, insanely, that the kids should live with their dad abroad. Not because of any parental failing on Rutherfordâ€™s part, but because Gierschâ€™s US visa, for murky reasons, was revoked by the US State Department.
He canâ€™t set foot on US soil, but Rutherford, whoâ€™s been able to work little since then, can visit the children in Europe. The ruling was to be temporary, until Giersch could sort out his visa problems.
Under international law, children legally reside in the country in which theyâ€™ve lived for six months. That would be Monaco for these kids. Rutherford said State Department officials report that her ex has taken no steps to seek the restoration of his US visa. She believes this is deliberate, so the kids would be stuck with him in Europe.
â€œI think the father is trying to alienate us from each other,â€™â€™ she said. â€œI want them to know their father.â€™â€™
She added, â€œNo one really knows what he does for a living.â€™â€™
Giersch is famous in Germany for successfully suing Google to bar the company from using the Gmail name for its email product in the German-speaking world.
He had registered the trademark G-mail (short for Giersch mail) in Germany in 2000, long before Google announced its own service there. But he settled with Google and handed over the Gmail name in 2012. Itâ€™s not known how much, if any, money exchanged hands, but I think itâ€™s safe to assume that Giersch didnâ€™t cave for nothing.
â€œEverybody is writing â€˜poor Kelly,â€™â€‰â€™â€™ Gierschâ€™s New York-based lawyer, Ira Garr, told me. â€œAll we did is enforce the judgments of a California court and a Monaco order. Itâ€™s that simple. She violated a court order, and all the rest is window dressing.â€™â€™
Garr was referring to Kellyâ€™s brief refusal this month to ship Hermes and Helena back to Monaco after they spent the summer with her in New York. (Gierschâ€™s side called her a â€œkidnapper.â€™â€™)
She held on to the kids because the California court had washed its hands of the matter, deciding that the case was the concern of Monacoâ€™s legal system. But when Rutherford balked at sending her kids back to their father, New York state Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gesmer ordered her to return them.
She did, handing them over to their paternal grandmother inside the courthouse. Reporters, barred from the proceedings, could hear a child crying â€œMommy!â€™â€™ from the hallway.
â€œShe has to live with herself,â€™â€™ Rutherford said in a statement about Gesmer. â€œAnd if she has a conscience, I suspect she will not sleep well ever again.â€™â€™
Rutherford married Giersch in 2006, and they separated in December 2008 when she was pregnant with Helena, and divorced in 2010.
Rutherford is appealing a Manhattan federal court decision refusing to take jurisdiction over the custody case. Itâ€™s a long shot, but I hope she wins.
She needs her kids. The kids need their mom.
Stay strong, Kelly.
Danger down the line
Another element of New York Cityâ€™s quality of life is disintegrating: Reports of assaults in subway stations have jumped 24 percent â€” to 151 from the beginning of the year to Aug. 16, compared with 122 over the same time period last year.
The top two stations in which straphangers risk being attacked are Union Square station in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
Hardy New Yorkers have to put up with overcrowded trains and aggressive panhandlers as we ride to work.
But fear of assault is just another insult that could drive people out of the city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, take heed.
Itâ€™s about the victims
As a journalist, Iâ€™m in shock. As a parent, Iâ€™m grief-stricken.
As a human being, I canâ€™t fathom such savagery.
A deranged gunman, recording the event for social media, murdered reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, Wednesday morning, shooting them as they were live on the air reporting a story for TV station WDBJ in Roanoke, Va. The attention-seeking psychopath, whoâ€™d been fired from the station, also shot and wounded Vicki Gardner, executive director of the local Chamber of Commerce, then shot himself to death as cops closed in. I wonâ€™t mention his name here. This is about his precious victims.
They are loved and missed by everyone whose lives they touched. Even by people who never met them.
â€™Net a boon for af-fairer sex
A California technology executive told The Postâ€™s Dana Schuster that his wifeâ€™s addiction to the Ashley Madison cheating spousesâ€™ website broke up their 19-year marriage, which produced two children.
A site user once told me she strayed after her husband ignored Motherâ€™s Day.
The recent hack of Ashley Madison revealed some jarring things about whoâ€™s doing whom: Josh Duggar, the former reality-TV creature who admitted to sexually abusing females â€” including two of his sisters â€” was a member. But among the 32 million people whose information was leaked, just 14 percent appeared to be female.
That seems like quite a few to me.
Some womenâ€™s profiles reportedly are phony, and some women trolling the site are said to be sex workers. And some busted members claim that friends or enemies signed them up without their knowledge.
Even assuming thatâ€™s all true, it seems as if women are catching on to the ease of adultery in the Internet age.