Kelly Rutherford's kids were on their way back to father Daniel Giersch in Monaco after a New York judge ordered the "Gossip Girl" actress to surrender custody Tuesday.
Rutherford showed up Tuesday morning in response to a Friday court order but didn't initially bring along Hermes, 8, and Helena, 6, as the judge had requested, People reported. The judge was not pleased.
The actress' lawyer -- who successfully argued that media be excused from the courtroom during the hearing -- said the children were "maybe 10 minutes away" because his client had wanted to keep them away from the "media circus," the mag said.
The kids came in through a side entrance around noon, and after the hearing Giersh's mom (who lives in Mougins, France, where the kids spend time in addition to Monaco) took the brother and sister -- and their U.S. passports -- straight from the courthouse to the airport, the New York Daily News reported.
Giersch and Rutherford married in August 2006 and separated in 2008. Their divorce was finalized in 2010, but they've been fighting over custody since they first separated, while she was pregnant with Helena.