The Gossip Girl star spent the summer with her two children - Hermes and Helena - in New York, and was due to fly them back to Monaco on Thursday (06Aug15), but she declared on Friday (07Aug15) in a statement that she is refusing, People.com reports.

The children have lived with their father - Rutherford's ex-husband and German businessman Daniel Giersch - since 2012, after a Californian judge ruled that Giersch should live with the kids in Monaco, as his U.S. visa had been revoked.

After a long legal battle, Rutherford was awarded sole custody by a Californian judge in May (15), but she has been informed by courts in California and New York in July (15) that they have no jurisdiction over the children and the case, and she must return her children to Monaco.

She said in a statement on Friday, "These past three years waiting for my children to come home have been very difficult. My children were forced to leave the United states in 2012 when they were only 2 and 5 years old. 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."

She also claims that because no state is claiming jurisdiction over the case, it "means 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... 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."

Rutherford wed Giersch in 2007, and filed for divorce in 2009 while three months pregnant with her daughter Helena.