Uma Thurman and Arpad Busson have been told they can’t keep their custody battle private.
The former couple are disputing over finances and their four-year-old daughter Rosalind, who is known as Luna, but Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper ruled in Manhattan on Wednesday (01.11.17) that lawyers acting for the ‘Kill Bill’ star and the youngster had failed to comply with state law and give a "compelling" reason why the courtroom should be kept closed to outsiders.
The judge claimed the only thing different about this case from other custody rows is the parents are "rich and famous".
Virginia Lopreto, acting for Luna, and Uma’s lawyer Eleanor Alter had argued a psychiatric forensic report on the child and her parents should not be aired in public, particularly because of the publicity the case had attracted, but the judge ruled there was nothing damaging in the document.
According to the New York Daily News newspaper, he said: "I have read the forensic report and it says nothing [bad] about the child. Whatever trouble that comes out of it has to deal with the parents.
"The only problem in this case is that the parents don’t like each other."
However, Alter said there was a discussion within the report of "third parties that is detrimental" but did not elaborate, while Lopreto said it would "defeat the purpose" of their motion to discuss the document in detail.
Peter Bronstein, Arpad’s lawyer, said his client was "not happy" about an open discussion of his finances but opposed the move to seal the trial.
He explained the French citizen – who has homes in London and the Bahamas – wants to spend time with Luna in his own homes, not just in Manhattan where his former fiancee lives, and feels the battle should be public as there could be wider implications for "foreign dads".
The lawyer said: "The question here is whether foreign dads have rights. … If he is going to be denied his rights, he should be denied his rights in public."
While Arpad, 52, was not in court for the hearing, 46-year-old Uma – who also has kids Maya, 16, and Levon, 14, with ex-husband Ethan Hawke – was but gave no reaction to the judge’s ruling.
The former couple got together in 2007 and got engaged the following year, only to briefly split then reconcile in 2009. They ended their engagement for the second time in 2014.
Arpad also has two sons with former girlfriend Ella Macpherson.