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granted her ex-husband permission to take the kids to live with him temporarily in Europe in 2012 after his U.S. visa was revoked.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 has maintained 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 her actions won her no favours with New York Supreme Court Judge Ellen Frances Gesmer on Tuesday after Giersch's lawyers accused Rutherford of "child abduction".

Judge Gesmer demanded Rutherford hand over her children immediately to Giersch's mother, so she could accompany them back to Monaco, and now the TV star has slammed the court official for exercising power Rutherford claims she does not have.

A statement issued to on Wednesday (12Aug15) reads: "What the judge did yesterday was shocking, illegal, and abusive to my children. Without any legal authority, a judge from the lowest ranking court in the state court system violated the highest ranking deferral constitutional rights of my American citizen children.

"Knowing she had no authority, Judge Gesmer seized my children and their U.S. passports, and forced them to leave the United States and reside in Monaco, a country where neither they nor I, nor even their father, has citizenship...

"I did my best to comfort the children, but there are no words to help children understand why a judge would be so cruel."

She goes on to hit out at Giersch, claiming he lied about not knowing his children's whereabouts in order to obtain the emergency order.

She continues, "That was a lie. I told him in writing repeatedly that the children were in New York, safe with me. He Skyped with the children and talked to them many times during the periods when he claimed he did not know the their whereabouts, or whether they were safe."

Rutherford concludes the scathing statement with another shot at the judge, adding, "As for Judge Gesmer, she has to live with herself, and if she has a conscience, I suspect she will not sleep well, ever again."

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