The former Gossip Girl star has been fighting to bring her eight-year-old son Hermes and six-year-old daughter Helena back to their native U.S. to live there permanently ever since a California judge granted her ex-husband, German businessman Daniel Giersch, permission to take the kids to live with him temporarily in Monaco in 2012 after his U.S. visa was revoked.

In June (15), a Monaco judge allowed the children to spend the summer (15) with their mother in the U.S. as officials in both countries attempted to establish jurisdiction, but Rutherford was recently dealt a blow as judges in California and New York refused to take up the case.

She was due to return the kids to their father last week (06Aug15), as per the Monaco court order, but Rutherford defied the ruling, prompting Giersch's lawyer to accuse her of "child abduction" and file a motion under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which ensures the prompt return of youngsters who have been abducted from their country of habitual residence.

The actress was summoned to appear in New York Supreme Court with Hermes and Helena on Tuesday (11Aug15), but she angered Judge Ellen Frances Gesmer by failing to bring her kids along with her.

When quizzed about their whereabouts, Rutherford's lawyer revealed they were "close by", adding they wanted to protect the children from the "media circus" outside the courthouse. But the excuse did not sit well with Judge Gesmer and Hermes and Helena were later brought into the court through a side door.

Giersch was not present for the hearing, but his lawyers successfully requested the press be banned from the proceedings, and they later emerged triumphant as Rutherford was ordered to bid farewell to her kids and immediately hand them over to her former mother-in-law, who was in attendance.

A custody hearing has been set for 3 September (15) in Monaco.