The former Gossip Girl star was summoned to appear in court on Tuesday (11Aug15) after disobeying a French custody order which required her to return eight-year-old Hermes and six-year-old Helena to their Monaco-based father, German businessman Daniel Giersch, after spending part of the summer (15) with their mum.

Rutherford has been fighting to have her children permanently returned to their native U.S. ever since a California judge granted her ex-husband permission to take the kids to live with him temporarily in Europe in 2012 after his U.S. visa was revoked.

The actress maintains she was simply acting in her kids' best interests after judges in both California and New York insisted they had no jurisdiction over the case, but she was chastised by New York Supreme Court Judge Ellen Frances Gesmer on Tuesday and ordered to immediately hand Hermes and Helena over to their paternal grandmother, who attended the hearing in her son's place.

Rutherford subsequently blasted Judge Gesmer for issuing the "shocking, illegal, and abusive" ruling, and on Friday (14Aug15), she continued to take aim at her during an interview on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America.

The actress, who was accused of "child abduction" by her ex, explained, "I walked into a courtroom where everything felt like it was already done; it was a done deal. His (Giersch's) mother was sitting there with plane tickets, smiling, ready to take them (kids). Nobody had heard our argument. I was accused of things that I was not even able to defend."

Despite disagreeing with the judge's decision, Rutherford admits she is glad the handover of her children happened swiftly.

She said, "You know, I'm glad they didn't have any notice, in a way. I think it would have been harder. I think it was in a moment, 'Oh, you're grandma's here, now we're gonna go, you're gonna go see your dad.'

"We just all had to be 'up' for them and.. I was happy the way it ended up happening because they didn't have to sit in a courtroom and watch it all happen or deal with media or anything that would have been hurtful, I think."

She is now preparing to appear in a Monaco court for a new custody hearing on 3 September (15) and she is hopeful the French officials will do the right thing and send the youngsters, who are both U.S. citizens, back to their native country.

She added, "Monaco's been incredibly kind to me and my children, I'm very respectful. This had been the first five weeks I've had with my kids straight in six years... Monaco didn't demand them back, New York just sent them back. So it was a very odd situation. I think that Monaco's been put in this position (to sort out the custody dispute) because of the decisions made in the U.S."

And Rutherford is still campaigning for the U.S. government to do more to prevent such cases from happening again: "This is happening to so many people. I have people stopping me on the street, writing me letters, sending me envelopes (of) their cases... This is happening a lot so there needs to be some laws put in place here... I shouldn't be having to fight this in a foreign court at this point. This is not what was the intention of the (original 2012) order."