Kelly Rutherford is widely recognized for her role as Lily van der Woodsen, the gorgeously dressed mother on Gossip Girl. But it’s her response to the real-life drama with her own children that deserves acclaim. Following a contentious divorce in 2010, a court decision sent Rutherford’s two children to live in France with their father. Known for both her pluck and kindness, Rutherford is not only fighting her own case in the courts but she also co-founded the Children’s Justice Campaign to help other families navigate the complexities of our judicial system. Kelly is a woman of beauty inside and out.
What did you enjoy most about your role on Gossip Girls?
It was such a magical, beautiful experience . They are all such talented good people. And it started a conversation with kids and their parents. I played a mother that has a voice—that made mistakes and was not afraid to admit them. This is very healing for children.
Do you have a dream acting project in mind?
I love roles that give us a new way of looking at things. I do my best to do that in my work. There are so many great women’s stories to be told.
You’re often described as being upbeat and optimistic, even during what must be a sad and stressful time. How do you manage to stay so enthusiast about life?
I love life. I also know it’s the best choice to stay positive as a woman and as a mother. The world needs as much positivity as it can get . We should teach it in schools.
You post wonderful messages on Instagram. As a role model to many girls and women, what do you hope to inspire in them?
I know that women are powerful beyond measure. Why do you think they call it Mother Earth? We need images of love and joy and nature. Of beauty and kindness. You get what you focus on. I do not read the news, instead I stay focused on what brings joy. Sharing our joy uplifts us. If the news reported mostly positive events I think the world would look different than it does today.
Your website notes that you’re an “avid environmentalist” and “value an organic and green lifestyle.” Can you discuss what that means for you?
I believe if you follow nature and the unlimited intelligence that created it you will always find the truth. We should worship in gratitude the great abundance that has been given to us and if we don’t it will be lost. I do what I can everyday. I do eat only organic at home and use everything eco and biodegradable and nontoxic that I can.
Can you talk about what inspired you to start the Children’s Justice Campaign?
I wanted to raise awareness about what goes on in the family court system to children.
What sort of results have you been seeing thus far?
I think we see it talked about a lot more publicly and certainly we are seeing that we will not change the system, so we can take a look at how we decide to move forward in our choices.
What other charities are you involved with?
Free Arts NYC, Step Up Women’s Network, and Heathy Child Heathy World.
Are you surprised to find yourself in such an activist role? Or is this in keeping with how you’ve lived your life thus far?
I think by sharing, others get relief and sometimes become much more informed about important issues.
What’s your greatest hope for the children of the world?
That we raise our consciousness enough to know that they are our teachers. They are the future. That parents do the spiritual work necessary to realize there is no value in passing down old habits that no longer serve. Listen. Learn from them. They know. Yes, we must protect them and keep them safe while they are little. And part of that is not adding to their drama. Before we have kids we can do therapy or whatever it is to look at our own issues and clean them up so we do not pass them on to them unconsciously. Bless them. Love them. Send them positive loving thoughts so they are always divinely guided and protected.