Big Decision in Kelly Rutherford's Custody Battle

The "Gossip Girl" actress was ordered to return her two kids to their father in Monaco after a six-year fight.
6:54 | 08/12/15

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Transcript for Big Decision in Kelly Rutherford's Custody Battle
We begin tonight with the new development in a celebrity custody battle. It's a drawn-out and dramatic high society tale worthy of a plot line on gossip girl. But for an actress who just bid farewell to her children, this is heartbreakingly real. Here's linsey Davis. Reporter: Gossip girl star Kelly Rutherford stunned and fighting back tears after losing a bitter custody battle in court, the judge ordering the american-born children to go back to Monaco immediately to continue to live with their father, German businessman. This decision follows the father's accusation that she kidnapped the children when she disobeyed a Monaco court order by not putting them on a plane last week. From the beginning I said I would fight for my children. I think most parents would. This was a mother refusing to abide by a court order and forcing the father to do something that he was loathe to do. Reporter: Today rurterford was forced to say good-bye. Their paternal grandmother taking the children directly from court to the airport. The children seem to be doing very well. They're clearly loved by both of their parents. Kelly Rutherford really managed to keep it together. She told the kids you're going to see papa. It's only when she left court that she appeared to brake down, leaving in tears. Reporter: The actress known for playing lily vander Woodson, a complicated, yet loving mother, now left to pick up the pieces of a real-life drama. Six years ago when Rutherford filed for divorce, she and her ex-husband were supposed to share custody, but when he was expelled from the U.S., the judge ruled that the children should live with their dad Tim prafrl while he reapplied for a Visa, saying the best interests of the children will be served because the relocation plan for France is the only plan that offers the possibility of nearly equally parenting time while Daniel cannot return to the U.S. But he has not reapplied for a Visa. You have a father whose Visa gets revoked. Two parents who are both deemed to be good parents, an attorney for the kids who says the kids ought to stay here, and a judge determines that because the dad can't come to the United States that the kids ought to go with him? Reporter: Rutherford expressed her pain then on "The view." They're in France. I last saw them about a week ago. They were supposed to start school the next day. My little girl said I want to come home, mama. I want to come back to New York. Reporter: Rutherford says all the legal fees and trips to see her children led her to file bankruptcy in 2013. All of this taking its toll as she told me in April. Are you more frustrated or angry or sad? I could sit here and tell you how often I cry, not being able to take them to school, pick them up from school, dress them, smell them, hug them. Reporter: And since then, she made claims that he had stopped her from visiting the children. I'd flown all the way over there. The kids had expected me to see them, I was expecting to see them. And he refused. He's been very generous about his allowance of access to her and the facilitating her access. Reporter: Last month, Rutherford was in better spirits. It's emotional, it's incredible. We're all a little jet lagged. Helena learned to ride her bike in the park yesterday. It was really exciting. Reporter: After a court in Monaco ruled that the kids should spend several weeks of summer vacation with her. Their father has only let me see them 11 days this year. Reporter: Kim Kardashian tweeted, I don't know you, but as a mother I feel your pain. She even lobbied president Obama to help her. The white house responded saying they're declining to comment on it, due to the ongoing legal proceedings. It's very hard for the kids and I. It's been kind of cruel in a way. Because, you know, we just want to see each other and be together, they're very, very young. Reporter: Last Friday, Rutherford was supposed to return the kids to the custody of their father which she refused. None of us expected this to go on this long. I trusted the court that this was going to be temporary. I trusted their father that he would live up to his agreement that it would be temporary. And three years has not been temporary. It is a drastic measure. It means that the children are being withheld and their whereabouts are unknown. Reporter: In response, the lawyers invoked emergency jurisdiction, asking the judge to order her to return the children. She was not going to comply with the agreements that the parties had made. Reporter: But today his attorney says he's thrilled with the ruling. He's a loving father. He's very excited to have his children back. I think when you look at the totality of this case, it's a total miscarriage of justice. She has been placed in a complete and total no-win situation. Reporter: In your estimate arks does this saga continue? And when does this end? What's next? Technically, they still have shared custody. The question's going to be, what happens as a result of this latest incident? Is that going to change anything? Reporter: Rutherford and girsh will next face off in September to discuss whether the kids can spend time with Rutherford in the U.S. He would be well-advised to be concerned about allowing them to come back here unless proper protections were in place. Reporter: An uncertain future for this fractured family. A move to Monaco may be necessary at some point if she wants to spend a lot time with her kids. It's just a horrible situation. Reporter: One that likely won't end anytime soon. It's not what I would have expected at all. And, you know, my kids have been through a lot. I've been through a lot. I'd like nothing better than to have this resolved for everyone's best interest. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm linsey Davis in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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