'Yes, my love, papa hit me.' Melissa George speaks of brutal battle for custody of sons.

“Who decided to take a baby who’s being breastfed away from his mother?”

Australian actress Melissa George has spoken about the brutal battle for custody of her two sons, aged three and one, after a harrowing domestic violence incident.

The 40-year-old actress, who was born in Perth, began her relationship with French entrepreneur Jean David Blanc in 2011. The pair separated in September last year, after allegations of domestic abuse. Now, her sons, three-year-old Raphael and one-year-old Solal, aren’t allowed to leave France and she’s fighting for their custody.

On last night’s episode of Sunday Night, George told Channel Seven how a 48-year-old Blanc threw her against a door frame in their Paris home last September. She claimed he slammed her head into a wardrobe and struck her in the mouth after a night out.

She couldn’t move her neck; she had bruising on her back, buttocks and forehead; and, upon reaching the police station after a bloodied Uber ride, she vomited into a waste basket and was taken to hospital.

Both George and Blanc were found guilty of abuse (Blanc suffered scratches).

“I fought for my life,” she told Channel Seven.

Jean-David Blanc and Melissa George
Jean-David Blanc and Melissa George arrive at the Opening Gala Dinner during the 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 11, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo via Getty).

But the most painful part of the story is one too many women can relate to.

Take away the city, the money, the red carpets and the fame, and you have a mother fighting to keep her children safe.

"There's been a block on the children leaving the territory of France," George discovered when she said she tried to take the kids with her to the US for work. She claims the trip was booked a month in advance.

They were on the plane, on the runway, when the police intervened. Blanc had accused her of kidnapping.

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Now, the actress is sharing custody of the children with her ex-partner. They are each spending one week at a time with the kids as they battle it out in court.


"You might as well be blocked in France, if you're going to be blocked somewhere," the Heartbeat actress said. "But I'm still breastfeeding my baby and he's with his dad and I have to figure out a way to get my milk from me to my kid."

"It's just a separation that shouldn't have happened. It's not right to keep us here without us wanting to be here."

George says she will do anything for her boys. That motherhood is "the biggest role in her life".

"The violence was a full stop to a lot of things in the relationship, I just want my babies," she said. "I told the judge, 'you can take away my career, my ability to work, I just want my babies'."

Actress Melissa George on March 17, 2016 in New York City. (Image via Getty).

George wants to come home to Australia, eventually, with her children. But, in the meantime, she is navigating a long and expensive and traumatic legal battle for their custody.

She's doing that while fielding the questions of her eldest. "Raphael asked, 'did papa hit you?' and I had to say 'yes, my love'. I'm not going to lie to him," she told Channel Seven.

She's shouldering the financial strain of not working. "I am selling everything I have to support myself." George is missing out on work, on auditions, because she can't take her children out of the country.

And she refuses to leave France while Raphael and Solal are still "trapped".

"People love telling me 'but you can leave'," George said. "I'm sorry, I am a mother. First and foremost, I am a mother. You can take everything away, I don't mind, I understand, but I will stay with my kids."

"I keep telling [my sons] 'I am not alone, I have you two'."

If you or a loved one is suffering, Mamamia urges you to contact the national domestic violence helpline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732.