Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ divorce battle just got more contentious: The “Game of Thrones” star is suing the musician for unlawfully keeping their two children in the U.S. and is requesting their immediate return to England.
Turner, 27, filed the lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to “secure the immediate return of children wrongfully removed or wrongfully retained” by Jonas, according to court documents obtained by The Times.
The England-born actor also accused the Jonas Brothers musician of withholding their daughters’ passports and refusing to send the girls home to England with her. Her attorneys cited the Hague Convention, the international child-abduction law, to make their case and said she plans to initiate a similar child-arrangement case in a U.K. court where Jonas’ decision is “a breach of [Turner’s] rights of custody” under English law.
Turner alleged that the “wrongful retention” of their young daughters began Sept. 20, about two weeks after the “Hesitate” singer filed for divorce from Turner in Florida’s Miami-Dade County Court.
In his filing at the time, Jonas, 34, sought joint custody of the girls and said that he and his estranged wife have a prenuptial agreement that he expects to be enforced. The “Sucker” singer also claimed that his relationship with the actor is “irretrievably broken.”
But more details about the fallout have come to light in Turner’s litigious move. And Jonas’ camp on Thursday stood firm in his decision to keep the kids with him, saying that he wishes “that Sophie reconsider her harsh legal position and move forward in a more constructive and private manner.” (More on his response later.)
According to Turner’s filing, the children are “currently temporarily physically located” with her at a New York hotel and alleges that she “has never consented or acquiesced to the removal of the children from England.”
The “Dark Phoenix” star said that she and Jonas “have spent regular time in England,” where they met while he was touring in 2016. After marrying in 2017 and welcoming their daughters in 2020 and 2022, they agreed over Christmas 2022 that they would make their “forever home” in England, which they regarded as “a safe location to raise their children.”
She repeatedly referred to the U.K. as the family’s “habitual residence” in the documents and outlined several ways in which the couple planned to settle in England, including selling their Miami property, buying a home in Oxford and looking at schools for their elder daughter, Willa. (The couple has not yet disclosed the name of their younger child, but Turner identified her as DMJ in the filing.)
Turner alleged that due to the amount of travel required by their careers, they had not committed to settling down in any one place — until April of this year.
“The parties were both excited for the family’s move to England,” the documents said, noting that they found a home in the English countryside and began a long-term rental contract to buy the property. They moved from Miami to England on April 10, 2023, around the time Turner began filming the miniseries “Joan” and Jonas began his Jonas Brothers tour with his siblings.
According to the documents, Turner and Jonas agreed “with some hesitation” to temporarily have their daughters travel with the musician and the family’s nanny for the month of August because he had more free time to spend with them during the day. Turner, the documents said, planned to join them in September when she finished her filming commitments and would collect them in New York and return to England.
“The children would then at least be able to spend some time during the day with one of their parents until the Mother finished her filming commitments,” the documents said.
However, “The breakdown of [their] marriage happened very suddenly,” the documents said, following an argument on Jonas’ birthday on Aug. 15. The singer filed for divorce weeks later.
Turner, who has yet to respond to the divorce filing in Miami, claims she found out about the divorce “through the media” and identified “incorrect claims” Jonas made in his petition about where their children have resided.
Then, she alleged, two weeks later, she and Jonas met on Sept. 17 discuss their separation and she “reiterated” that she wants the children to move to England. However, she claimed, he wouldn’t budge.
“The Father has possession of the children’s passports,” the documents said. “He refuses to return the passports to the Mother and refuses to send the children home to England with the Mother.”
Then, on Sept. 19, Jonas’ attorney in Florida confirmed that the singer would neither return the passports nor consent to the daughters moving back to the U.K., which prompted Turner’s lawsuit.
In a statement to The Times on Thursday, a representative for Jonas countered many of the allegations made in Turner’s lawsuit, including her awareness of Jonas’ divorce filing, which the rep said came after “multiple conversations.”
“Sophie was aware that Joe was going to file for divorce,” the representative said. “The Florida Court has already entered an order that restricts both parents from relocating the children. Sophie was served with this order on September 6, 2023, more than two weeks ago.”
The rep referred to the couple’s Sept. 17 meeting as “cordial” and confirmed that the children have been with Turner since. But Jonas’ “impression of the meeting was that they had reached an understanding that they would work together towards an amicable co-parenting setup.”
Less than two days later, Turner allegedly informed him that she wanted to take the girls back to the U.K. permanently, but if Jonas complied, he would be “in violation of the Florida Court order.”
“Joe is seeking shared parenting with the kids so that they are raised by both their mother and father, and is of course also okay with the kids being raised both in the U.S. and the U.K. The children were born in the U.S. and have spent the vast majority of their lives in the U.S. They are American citizens,” the rep said.
“This is an unfortunate legal disagreement about a marriage that is sadly ending. When language like ‘abduction’ is used, it is misleading at best, and a serious abuse of the legal system at worst.
“The children were not abducted. After being in Joe’s care for the past three months at the agreement of both parties, the children are currently with their mother,”
The statement accused Turner of making her claims “only to move the divorce proceedings to the U.K. and to remove the children from the U.S. permanently.”
“Joe has already disavowed any and all statements purportedly made on his behalf that were disparaging of Sophie. They were made without his approval and are not consistent with his views. His wish is that Sophie reconsider her harsh legal position and move forward in a more constructive and private manner. His only concern is the well-being of his children.”
Internet speculation about both parties has run rampant since the couple announced their split earlier this month. And, one day after Jonas filed for divorce, the former couple shared a joint statement addressing “speculative narratives” about the dissolution of their marriage.
“After four wonderful years of marriage we have mutually decided to amicably end our marriage,” their joint statement read. “There are many speculative narratives as to why but, truly this is a united decision and we sincerely hope that everyone can respect our wishes for privacy for us and our children.”
Jonas also addressed the split during the Jonas Brothers’ tour stop at Dodger Stadium earlier this month.
“It’s been a tough week,” he said, adding, “I just wanna say, look: If you don’t hear it from these lips, don’t believe it. Thank you, everyone, for your love and support. Me and my family love you guys.”
Times editorial librarian Scott Wilson contributed to this report.
Source: LA Times