The Gossip Girl actress has been embroiled in a bitter battle with her ex-husband, German businessman Daniel Giersch, since he was awarded custody of eight-year-old Hermes and six-year-old Helena and the U.S.-born children were sent to live with him in Europe.

Rutherford violated the custody order by refusing to return the kids to Giersch after they had spent a summer break with her in America, but she was ordered to give the youngsters up at a court hearing in New York last Tuesday (11Aug15).

An hour after the hearing, her legal team filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court in a bid to reverse the ruling, but a judge dismissed the filing later the same day, according to the New York Post.

Rutherford's attorney Wendy Murphy has vowed to launch an appeal, telling the publication, "The federal court's decision was obviously incorrect, and we are appealing."