An unnamed actress is set to appear at the High Court in London after her former partner accused her of abducting their child.
The former couple met on set in Africa. She and the father, a documentary maker, later moved to Sydney, where, he insists, they had agreed to set up home. The actress is well-known for her appearances on the BBC. Neither parent can be identified to protect their child.
The Times quotes a friend of the father:
“When [the actress] became pregnant the agreement was she would come out to Oz and they would live together. Because of her career it took some time to arrange but she quit the BBC and finally arrived in Sydney. The intention was always to have a family life in Australia and bring up [the child] together.”
The mother had an affair last year, the father claimed, but the couple decided to stay together.
But just days after her arrival down under, the mother sent her partner a mysterious message saying ‘I know everything’, then disappeared. When he contacted police he was told she had already left Australia and flown back to Britain with their child.
The father has now launched an application under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, arguing that the improvised family had acquired habitual residence in Australia following the agreement to move there.
The mother, by contrast, claims the trip to Australia was simply an extended holiday and she had never agreed to a permanent relocation.
The documentary maker has been able to see their child for just a few hours since the return to London, he told the court.
The father’s friend added:
“[He] is desperate to maintain the relationship with the child. The mother has basically cut off contact and has never really explained why she left.”
The case continues.