A judge ruled Thursday that potentially embarrassing documents related to a custody battle involving Illinois Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan (search) and actress Jeri Ryan will be unsealed.

Superior Court Judge Robert A. Schnider ruled that parts of the documents should be released because of Ryan's high-profile candidacy.

Schnider acknowledged that some of those documents contained information that would likely harm the couple's 9-year-old son. No specifics were given.

"The overriding public interest must be served here," Schnider said.

No documents were unsealed Thursday. The judge delayed implementation of his ruling until June 28 to give the parties a chance to appeal.

A spokesman for Ryan, an investment banker turned teacher, did not immediately comment Wednesday night.

Jeri Ryan is best known for roles on TV's "Boston Public" and "Star Trek: Voyager."

Specifically, the judge ruled that most of the documents relating to accusations the Ryans made about each other will be made public. Documents that relate mostly to issues involving the child will remain sealed.

The ruling satisfied the lawyer representing the Chicago Tribune and WLS-TV in Chicago, which had sued to unseal the records after Jack Ryan entered the Senate race.

Attorney Susan Seager said the public has a right to see the documents, especially since Ryan "declared himself to be a family values candidate."