Former Neighbours star Eliza Szonert has reportedly been detained by Malaysian police as her battle for custody of her son escalates.
Szonert, 41, used a child recovery service to snatch her son from her former partner in a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month.
Police are investigating that incident following a complaint from the boy’s father, Ashley Crick, 43.
The incident was recorded and posted online.
Szonert’s mother Kay confirmed last night that her daughter was in police custody and assisting with enquiries, but said no arrest had been made.
She told Fairfax media that Szonert had voluntarily attended the police station with a lawyer to make a statement, but had not yet been allowed to leave.
Szonert and her son were unable to leave Malaysia after reuniting earlier this month because Szonert claimed that Crick had their passports.
The couple split more than three years ago, and Szonert and her son were in Kuala Lumpur visiting Crick who works in the Malaysian capital.
The former couple argued, and Crick allegedly kicked Szonert out of the apartment, keeping her passport and their son.
Watch Eliza Szonert talk about reuniting with her son:
Crick has disputed Szonert’s version of events and said having his child taken from him as they ate breakfast was “a parent’s worst nightmare”.
“Interpol is also involved. They have placed my son on every known watch list,” he told The Australian.
“I have additionally been working closely with the Australian high commission to ensure my son’s safety is not compromised.”
For the sake of his son, Crick said he wants to return to Australia and resolve the custody dispute in court here.
“In the interests of his safety, I would like to find a way to return to Australia with my son legally, where I will seek full custody through the Australian Court system in light of these events.
“I only hope that Eliza values our son’s wellbeing enough to comply with authorities so this can happen.”
Malaysian police told local media that the case is more of a family matter.
“I think this case is more towards a family conflict. The police will seek Szonert to record her statement,” Datuk Law Hong Soon, Kuala Lumpur’s police deputy chief, has said.
The case has played out publicly since news of Szonert’s actions broke over a week ago. Reports have alleged Szonert was seeking treatment for addiction in a South-East Asian rehabilitation facility before heading to Malaysia.
That claim has been denied by Szonert’s camp, with Kay Szonert saying her daughter had sought treatment for depression.
The boy at the heart of the dispute is reportedly in his grandmother’s care.
New Idea reported that Szonert had no regrets about her actions to reclaim her son.
“Absolutely I would do it all again,” she said.