Dr. Phil: Kelly Rutherford Custody Battle & Children’s Justice Campaign


Dr. Phil: Kelly Rutherford Custody Battle

Kelly Rutherford is an actress best known for her role in Gossip GirlShe’s made headlines recently when she battled her ex-husband for custody of their children. Two years ago, Kelly’s German ex-husband Daniel Giersch was deported from the U.S. The court decided that the children, both U.S. citizens, should stay in France with their father, since he had no means of coming to America. With a 50-50 custody order, the only way for Kelly to see her children is for her to have all the burden of travel, including the expense and the time involved.

Dr. Phil: Kelly Rutherford Custody Battle & Children's Justice Campaign

Gossip Girl actress Kelly Rutherford came by Dr. Phil to talk about her custody battle over her children and why she started the Children’s Justice Campaign to help children in custody battles. (Anton Oparin / Shutterstock.com)


Her kids are U.S. citizens. Kelly and her ex-husband were married in the U.S. Kelly is also a U.S. citizens. Her kids were going to school in the U.S. Now, they’re living in a foreign country in which they have no connection.

Kelly was court-ordered to write a letter to help her ex-husband reestablish his immigration status in the U.S. But he was not court-ordered to apply. She has a letter from the State Department saying he has not applied.

Dr. Phil: Is She A Good Mom?

Dr. Phil said that when he worked as a forensic psychologist in the courts, there was a cardinal rule: what’s in the best interest of the children? Kelly Rutherford was evaluated by a forensic psychologist many times and they said she was a great mom and she would have primary custody.


She said this whole thing is challenging for her as a parent because she wants them to co-parent and she wants her children to have a relationship with her father. But it’s been very challenging watching this whole process. She said that her children love her father, but they’re confused why they have to live there.

Dr. Phil read from a statement from Daniel’s lawyer which said that he decided not to be on the show because he thought a public media campaign might be destructive and he wanted to keep quiet to protect the children. The entire statement is available on Dr. Phil’s website.

Dr. Phil: Why Was Kelly Rutherford Denied Custody of Her Children?

Chelsea Story, one of Kelly’s attorneys, was on Dr. Phil. She said that she couldn’t believe this decision. She was following it before she represented Kelly. She thought maybe Kelly had done something or had been unfit. But when she read the documents from the court, by the judge’s own account, Kelly is a wonderful mother and has done everything she can for her children.

Chelsea said that the children’s rights seem to have been disregarded and the best interest was not asserted by the courts to send these U.S. children out of the country.

Dr. Phil: Children’s Justice Campaign Review

Kelly has no concerns about her ex-husband as a father. Her concern is solely on the fact that her children have been sent away.

“To put kids through this, to watch your children go through this, is an excruciatingly painful thing,” Kelly Rutherford said.

That’s why Kelly Rutherford started the Children’s Justice Campaign. She wanted to use her fame to try to help children in similar situations, to make sure their interests and needs are put first.

Kelly said that her ideal scenario would be Daniel getting his visa to come back to the U.S. and co-parent. This would allow them both to see their children and co-parent actively, rather than remotely.

Dr. Phil told his viewers that the problem with using the court system in disputes like this is that you may not agree with the decision the judge makes.


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