The actress discussed her happy reunion and her difficult custody battle on The View

By Sheila Cosgrove Baylis
Updated July 06, 2015 02:30 PM
Janette Pellegrini/Getty

Kelly Rutherford has shared the pain of separation from her children, and now she’s opening up about the joy of reuniting with them. She even got to experience a milestone with her 6-year-old daughter Helena on Sunday.

“Helena learned to ride her bike in the park yesterday, so it was really exciting,” the actress said on The View Monday. “It’s incredible, it’s emotional. We’re all a little jet-lagged – but happy.”

Rutherford, 46, has been separated from her daughter as well as her son Hermes, 8, due to an ongoing custody battle with her ex-husband Daniel Giersch.

The pair divorced in 2009, and the kids have lived with their father in Monaco since 2012, when the German businessman’s U.S. visa was revoked. Ever since, the Gossip Girl star has been traveling to Monaco to see the children and fighting for their return to the United States.

A Monaco judge ordered the kids to spend the summer with their mother in the States. “I think what people don’t understand is that this is a victory for me. Previously their father only let me see them 11 days this year in Europe,” Rutherford said on the show.

“The last time I was there, the kids were expecting to see me, and [Giersch] said unless you hand over the U.S. passports you can’t see them,” Rutherford said, adding that there is some confusion over whether Monaco or California has legal jurisdiction over the matter.

At the end of the summer, Helena and Hermes will have to return to Monaco to live with their father.

“They were sent here temporarily to give him time to work on his visa,” Rutherford explained.

“I have a letter from the State Department that, as of today, he has made no effort to get a visa reinstated or come back to this country,” she continued, “so the burden is now put on my kids and the U.S. citizens who are accommodating someone who is making no effort and who now is trying to get full custody in a foreign country.”

When View moderator Whoopi Goldberg asked Rutherford if the first judge to make a ruling on the custody battle was still involved with the case, the actress quipped, “She is in traffic court, I think.”