Kelly Rutherford is touched by a fellow's mum desperate bid to help the actress regain custody of her two children by launching an online petition in her honour in an effort to reverse the ruling.
The Gossip Girl star was left devastated in August (12) when a California judge ruled in favour of her ex-husband and allowed her six-year-old son Hermes and three-year-old daughter Helena to remain in France with their father, German businessman Daniel Giersch, following the 2012 summer break. Giersch has been banned from returning to the U.S. after his visa was revoked.
Rutherford, who must fly to Europe each time she wants to see her kids, has been fighting the decision ever since and now Caroline Fina, whose children attended school with Hermes and Helena, has called on U.S. government officials to get involved in the case.
An excerpt of Fina's petition on Change.org reads: "I met Kelly Rutherford three years ago when we'd both arrive early to pick up our children at their nursery school. I saw her every single day: our kids became fast friends, and I got to know Kelly as one of the most loving, dedicated mothers I've ever met. I never could've imagined that a court ruling would separate Kelly from her children and put the Atlantic ocean between them... It's been just devastating for them... Kelly's children have been taken away from their school, their friends, and their doctors. As you can imagine, Kelly is constantly worried about the emotional and psychological toll this is taking on her children, who have done nothing to deserve this chaos.
"I want you to know that Kelly is not your average mother. She is the mom who sews the Spiderman mask back together when it rips, the mom who has lollipops in her purse at all times just in case she comes across a child crying, at school, at the airport, anywhere. She is the mom who will eat the crazy-looking birthday cake her kids made for her, just because it's made of love. Kelly is a caring and generous friend, and most importantly, a truly exceptional mother. To see her now, separated from Hermes and Helena, enduring the worst possible agony a mother can experience, pushes me to reach out for help."
The petition has drawn the support of a handful of celebrities, including former Melrose Place star Lisa Rinna and singer Estelle, and Rutherford admits she's overwhelmed by Fina's willingness to help.
She tells the New York Post, "It's a touching thing to do from mother to mother. We would wait for our kids together and have play dates together. So she saw (the drama) firsthand. A lot of mothers were really shocked by this. I think it would make any mum think, 'If it can happen to her, then it can happen to me.'"