Kelly Rutherford’s ex, Daniel Giersch, is a German entrepreneur whose company, Quabb, allows users in Germany to send physical letters through the mail using the internet. He also founded an app called Blipcard through which you can send actual postcards of your photos. In 2007, Giersch successfully sued google for infringing on his registered trademark, g-mail.de.
Giersch is a businessperson who has experience with the legal system, including during his contentious international custody battle with Rutherford. He was just granted full primary custody of their two children, Hermes, nine, and Helena, six, by a court in Monaco, where he lives. It’s thought that Kelly is visiting the children for Christmas.
Now that the custody battle is settled, Giersch is suing the American Magazine, Vanity Fair, for defamation for a piece they published about him in October. As I mentioned in our initial coverage of the article, it was heavily biased in Kelly’s favor and included allegations of emotional abuse by Giersch. She also called the custody battle Giersch’s “sort of side fun project.” Here’s the PR release on this lawsuit, which was filed in Hamburg, Germany. Giersch is also appealing to media outlets not to publish photos of his children:
On 21 December 2015, the Hamburg Regional Court in Germany issued a preliminary injunction against the publisher of the US print and online editions of Vanity Fair, Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. of New York. The petitioner was the German businessman, Daniel Giersch. Giersch was married to US actress Kelly Rutherford from 2006 to 2009. The court ordered Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. not to disseminate and repeat various assertions that were made about Daniel Giersch and published on the Vanity Fair website under the caption “Inside Kelly Rutherford‘s Brutal Globe-Spanning Custody Battle”. The same text was published in the November edition of Vanity Fair in an article entitled “Irreconcilable Distances”. The original wording of the preliminary injunction that contains the individual prohibitions, is appended to this press release (together with an English translation of the court order). Injunctive orders are preliminary in nature and will become legally enforceable upon service of process.
“Our client, Daniel Giersch, has had to repeatedly endure in recent years numerous assertions that were untrue and completely fabricated. This needs to come to an end, now”, remarks German Attorney-at-Law Dr. Oliver Scherenberg of the Hamburg law firm of PREU BOHLIG & PARTNER. “Our client has suffered significant injury to his reputation due to these untrue and defamatory assertions, against which he is now defending himself. The actions taken against the false assertions published in Vanity Fair are only the beginning.” Scherenberg, together with his team is retained by Daniel Giersch to coordinate the global defense strategy against the false and disparaging statements.
Daniel Giersch has been mindful of the child custody dispute currently pending with his ex-wife and has to the end exercised restraint in taking legal action against the false assertions appearing in the press. In an effort to protect his children and his own personal integrity, he now cannot and will not tolerate this situation of false and defamatory assertions any longer.
Scherenberg continues: “The children of our client must have an opportunity to grow up in peace and to be shielded from the glare of the public eye. This means that they should not have to read falsehoods in the press about their father. It also means that they should be kept out of the media spotlight as much as possible. In recent weeks, we have launched extensive and successful campaigns throughout Europe in order to prevent images of our client’s children from appearing in the press, and we will also continue to undertake these efforts going forward”. Thankfully, these efforts have found support among numerous reputable image agencies and media outlets. In order to pro-tect the private sphere of Mr. Giersch’s children, images of the children are to be, at the very least, pixilated or blurred in the future.
PREU BOHLIG & PARTNER lawyers who are principally involved in the proceedings before the Hamburg Regional Court are Dr. Oliver Scherenberg and Michael-Matthias Nordhardt.
The full lawsuit, which is available as a PDF here and is in both German and English, specifies that Giersch is suing as Kelly made untrue statements which violated his rights under German privacy law. The statements cited from the Vanity Fair article are:
- Rutherford’s claim that Giersch did not want their son to have a US passport
- Her statement that she “didn’t mind” Hermes having a German passport
- That Rutherford initiated divorce proceedings
- That Giersch requested to be in the delivery room for Helena and
- That Giersch was able to hold Helena in the hospital the day after she was born
It’s worth noting that Giersch is suing Vanity Fair, not Rutherford, and that the press release indicates he may go after additional outlets which published inaccurate stories about him.
In terms of Giersch trying to protect his children from the spotlight, Rutherford brought the kids with her to swag suites and red carpet events this summer, and she posed with them. She presumably called the paparazzi to document an outing with them in Monte Carlo as well. She’s the one who put them out there in the press, at a time when their father requested that the children’s privacy be protected.
Vanity Fair has six months to file an appeal. Kelly has so far not commented on her Instagram or social media accounts and has recently posted photos from the Swiss Alps. I presume that there is some sort of gag order in force for her custody case.
Thanks to LAK for the tip!
Photos are from 2007, 2008 and 2009. Credit: FameFlynet and Getty