Kelly Rutherford has been accused of ''child abduction and extortion'' by her ex-husband.

The 'Gossip Girl' star is locked in a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband Daniel Giersch over their two children - son, Hermes, eight, and daughter, Helena, six - and has chosen to defy a court order and keep her children in the United States instead of sending them back to Monaco with their father, much to the fury of the German businessman.

His attorney, Fahi Takesh Hallin, told E! News: ''Daniel will continue to protect the children from any harm and any media exposure. Unfortunately Kelly has now added child abduction to extortion and false statements on her list of actions. Daniel will make sure that the children's safety and well being will be restored as soon as possible.''

And Daniel believe the 46-year-old actress' conduct throughout their custody battle will have a ''traumatic impact'' on the children.

The lawyer's statement added: ''He is very concerned about the traumatic impact that Kelly's behaviour will have on the children. Kelly was to have delivered the children in France to their father on August 7, 2015. Child abduction is a crime, and everyone involved in kidnapping or abducting the children will face the appropriate legal consequences. Anyone associating themselves with Kelly and her abduction is violating the law.''

Kelly released a statement at the weekend, citing ''confusing'' court proceedings for keeping the children in the US.

She said: ''In May, a judge in California gave me sole custody and brought them home. I am immensely grateful and overjoyed to have them back. Since May, however, the court proceedings have been confusing.

''No state in this country is currently protecting my children. It also means that no state in this country currently requires me to send the children away. Hence, I have decided that I cannot lawfully send my children away from the United States to live in a foreign country.''

''I hope that this decision will end this painful litigation, and that my children will be allowed to live in peace in their own country.''

And the actress urged her husband to visit the kids in the US, instead of insisting they return to Europe.

She added: ''Like all German citizens, my ex-husband can presumably travel to the United States on his German passport and exercise his parental rights in this country, just as I have done for the past three years in France and Monaco on my U.S. passport.

''I pray that officials in this country and in Monaco will agree that three years in exile is a very long time in a child's life, and that my children have a right to remain, once and for all, in the United States.''