During the Labor Day-week where Joe Jonas was trying to smear Sophie Turner as a partier and an unfit mother, there was an undercurrent to the reporting that everything fell apart between them this year, especially when Sophie went back to work in the UK. Sophie had been primarily living in America since she and Joe got together (when she was 19) and they bought a home in Florida, thinking it would give them more privacy. Still, Sophie indicated in many interviews that she missed living in England and she would love to raise her children there and not America. Well, all of it was connected – Sophie has filed a lawsuit in Manhattan, suing Joe to get access to their daughters and for Joe to relinquish their daughters’ passports. It’s messy messy.

Sophie Turner is asking for her kids to be returned to England. In a lawsuit filed in a Manhattan court on Thursday and obtained by PEOPLE, the Game of Thrones alum, 27, has requested that her two kids — Willa, 3, and a daughter, identified in previous court docs as D., 14 months — be returned to England. The complaint against estranged husband Joe Jonas calls for “the immediate return of children wrongfully removed or wrongfully retained,” with Turner’s legal team asserting the “wrongful retention” began on Sept. 20.

Turner claims that she and the musician, 34, agreed to declare England their “forever home” in conversations that took place over Christmas 2022 as they prepped for the year ahead. The couple sold the Miami home they previously resided in and were in the process of buying a home in the English countryside in April, the documents allege, at which point Turner began filming on the Joan mini-series she has worked on this summer.

Once Jonas began touring with The Jonas Brothers, the documents claim the two agreed to let the girls join him because he had more daytime hours to be available to them than Turner did amid filming, noting she had “hesitation” about the “temporary arrangement.”

Turner alleges that the breakdown of their marriage happened “very suddenly” after an argument on Aug. 15, with Jonas filing for divorce on Sept. 5 and the Dark Phoenix actress learning about their split “from the media” days later. The issue of custody came to a head when the two met up to discuss the next steps after their split two weeks later, Turner’s petition claims, at which point she “reiterated” the plan to move to England and was met with a change of heart by Jonas.

According to the documents, “The Father has possession of the children’s passports. He refuses to return the passports to the Mother and refuses to send the children home to England with the Mother.”

Jonas’ attorney allegedly confirmed to Turner’s legal team on Sept. 19 that he would not be returning the passports and would not provide consent for his daughters to move, the documents claim.

[From People]

While I’ve been on Sophie’s side for much of Joe’s smear campaign, I have to quibble about “refuses to send the children home to England.” While both of their daughters are apparently dual citizens, the girls were born in America, have an American father and have lived the bulk of their lives in America. It’s not like Joe and Sophie were completely set up in England this whole time. But I digress, because Joe is making a similar point. His team reacted swiftly and issued a scathing statement:

On Thursday, a representative for Joe Jonas, 34, shared a statement obtained by PEOPLE in response to his estranged wife’s lawsuit that alleges he is not letting the couple’s two kids — Willa, 3, and a 14-month-old daughter — return to England.

“After multiple conversations with Sophie, Joe initiated divorce proceedings in Florida, as Florida is the appropriate jurisdiction for the case. Sophie was aware that Joe was going to file for divorce. 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 statement reads.

“Joe and Sophie had a cordial meeting this past Sunday in New York, when Sophie came to New York to be with the kids. They have been with her since that meeting. Joe’s impression of the meeting was that they had reached an understanding that they would work together towards an amicable co-parenting setup.”

The statement alleges that less than 24 hours after the “amicable co-parenting setup” was agreed upon, “Sophie advised that she wanted to take the children permanently to the UK. Thereafter, she demanded via this filing that Joe hand over the children’s passports so that she could take them out of the country immediately. If he complies, Joe will be in violation of the Florida Court order.”

The statement asserts that the musician 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 UK,” but also alleges that the children “have spent the vast majority of their lives in the U.S.” Though the statement notes the children are American citizens, both children have dual citizenship in both the United States and England.

“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,” the statement says. “After being in Joe’s care for the past three months at the agreement of both parties, the children are currently with their mother. Sophie is making this claim only to move the divorce proceedings to the UK 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,” the statement concludes.

[From People]

I’m not sure if I should say what I really think because you guys might yell at me but… I think Joe realized months ago that it was a very good possibility that his marriage would end soon enough, and he took steps to ensure that their daughters were with him in America as the marriage ended, so he would have all of his legal ducks in a row and he could control the jurisdiction. Think about how differently this would have gone if Sophie had the girls with her in the UK and Joe filed for divorce in Florida and Sophie refused to budge – it would have been an international incident and a huge jurisdictional problem. But, that being said, Joe being smart and thinking a few steps ahead isn’t “abduction.” As Joe’s statement says (and he seems to have all of the legal docs to back it up) – he got the Florida family court to issue an “order that restricts both parents from relocating the children. Sophie was served with this order on September 6, 2023.” Joe had a vision that this would happen and he took steps to ensure that he protected his custodial rights. Sophie is trying to muddy the jurisdictional issue and fudge the residency issue. You can’t just declare out of nowhere that two minor children born in America need to be “returned to their home in England.”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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