-- “Gossip Girl” actress Kelly Rutherford will plead her case in a Manhattan federal court today in a desperate bid to keep her two children with her in the United States.
Rutherford, 45, alleges that her children — son Hermés, 7, and daughter Helena, 5 – have been “deported” by their father, Rutherford’s ex-husband, Daniel Giersch, who lives in France.
She is asking the federal government to “take legal custody” of her children, “ensuring that they remain in the United States,” according to a court filing.
“This is a clever attempt on her part to circumvent the state court and go directly to a federal court claiming that her children are being deported,” legal analyst Dana Cole, who is not involved in the case, told ABC News.
Rutherford, who lives in New York City, is due to return the children to their father in France next week.
Giersch was awarded physical custody of the ex-couple’s children in August 2012 by a California Superior Court judge after the children visited Giersch in France.
The judge ruled that in order to maintain a 50-50 caretaking split, the children must stay in France with Giersch, who is a German citizen and was expelled from the United States, and Rutherford would have travel back and forth to see them.
“No person, especially an American child, should be forced to leave the United States,” Rutherford’s attorney, Wendy Murphy, told ABC News in a statement.
Rutherford, who filed for bankruptcy in May 2013, citing $1.5 million in legal fees, told “Good Morning America” in 2012 she would “never stop fighting for my children.”
“They're my babies and they're very young and this is going to affect them profoundly and I want to be there as much as I can to show them that this isn't my fault, this isn't something I wanted, and that's my concerns,” Rutherford said at the time.
Giersch’s attorney, Fahi Takesh Hallin, told ABC News her client, “As always, looks forward to co-parenting.”