Kylie Moore-Gilbert's ex-husband seen with lover for the first time

‘I don’t care about him’: Kylie Moore-Gilbert’s ex-husband seen with lover for the first time since they began relationship while jilted Aussie academic endured hellhole Iranian jail

  • Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert divorced from her husband after discovering his affair 
  • Husband Ruslan Hodorov had the affair while Dr Moore-Gilbert was in Iran jail 
  • She was jailed for 804 days on spying charges but released in November 2020
  • Dr Moore-Gilbert said she no longer cares about her ex and wants to ‘move on’ 

Aussie academic Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert’s ex-husband has been seen out and about with his new lover for the first since having an affair while she was imprisoned in a hellhole Iranian jail as she declared she no longer cares about him.   

Dr Moore-Gilbert, an Islamic studies scholar, was freed last November in a prisoner swap deal after spending 804 days behind bars on spying charges and arrived home to discover her husband Ruslan Hodorov had moved on with another woman.

The 33-year-old’s mother broke the news while she was in quarantine that her Russian-Israeli husband was having an affair with Dr Kylie Baxter, her university colleague and PhD supervisor, while she was held captive in Iran. 

An ‘upset and disappointed’ Dr Moore-Gilbert filed for divorce shortly after, and made the announcement it was official on her Twitter account earlier this month. 

Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert (pictured this month) said she no longer cares about her ex-husband after he had an affair while she was locked-up in an Iranian jail on spying charges

Dr Moore-Gilbert’s ex-husband Ruslan Hodorov was this month pictured out walking in Melbourne with his new lover Dr Kylie Baxter


Dr Moore-Gilbert (pictured this month) was told while she was in quarantine after arriving back in Australia from Iran that her now ex-husband had been having an affair

Mr Hodorov and Dr Baxter were pictured walking hand-in-hand while out and about near their home in the exclusive Melbourne suburb of Toorak 

She last week told how she wanted nothing to do with her former husband having previously revealed how she was keen to ‘move on’ from the marriage.  

‘I don’t care what he is doing. He is none of my business… that is my ex and I don’t care about him,’ she told the Herald Sun. 

Before her September 2018 arrest Dr Moore-Gilbert and Mr Hodorov had just bought a house in Melbourne after marrying the previous year in a Jewish ceremony. 

They met a decade earlier when she visited Israel, where Mr Hodorov lived after emigrating from Russia with his family. 

Both Mr Hodorov, 31, and Dr Baxter, 43, pushed for Dr Moore-Gilbert’s release after her arrest for espionage at Tehran airport as she attempted to leave the country. 

Mr Hodorov was this month pictured walking hand-in-hand with Dr Baxter along Melbourne’s Yarra River close to their home in the exclusive suburb of Toorak. 


Dr Moore-Gilbert (left) filed divorce shortly after her release after finding out Mr Hodorov was having an affair with Dr Baxter (pictured together at right) 

Dr Moore-Gilbert declared the divorce was finalised in a post on Twitter, making light of the situation with a reference to a Kylie Minogue cameo in Australian sit-com Kath & Kim

Dr Moore-Gilbert, an Islamic studies scholar, was freed last November in a prisoner swap deal after spending 804 days in an Iranian jail on spying charges, which she denies

He told media he was relieved Dr Moore-Gilbert was home and ‘appreciated the interest’ in his ex-wife but declined to comment further. 

Dr Moore-Gilbert revealed in a bombshell interview last month that while locked up in the Middle East Mr Hodorov eventually stopped saying ‘I love you’ during phone calls.  

‘I knew that it (the marriage) wasn’t in the same state that it was when I left. I knew that there was a problem at least 12 months before I came home,’ she told Melissa Doyle in a Sky News tell-all.

‘My mother told me when I arrived in hotel quarantine. She found out the day before from a third person, a third party… My family found out and called (him), and he confirmed it.’

Dr Moore-Gilbert said she became suspicious when her husband had not contacted her after touching down in Australia.

‘He hasn’t even called to say “I’m happy you’re free”, so I said you have to tell me mum it’s obvious somethings up – I’m strong I can handle it,’ she said. 

Dr Moore-Gilbert added she ‘was upset and disappointed (Mr Hodorov) was not supporting me to the extent that I hoped he would’ while she was in jail.

Dr Moore-Gilbert (pictured) married Mr Hodorov in 2017 in a Jewish ceremony after meeting him a decade earlier while visiting Israel 

Mr Hodorov and Dr Baxter (pictured together) pushed for Dr Moore-Gilbert’s release after her arrest for espionage in September 2018

‘I understand something had shifted for him and for me too. I didn’t necessarily think that our marriage was over, but I was thinking to myself based on that maybe I didn’t want to stay with him, so it wasn’t necessarily a surprise that my marriage came to an end.

‘He never told my family, or told me, that he wanted to leave me. He maintained the deception right up until the end.’

Dr Moore-Gilbert said Dr Baxter liaised between the University of Melbourne and her family and husband during her time behind bars.

She and Dr Baxter are both experts in Middle Eastern studies at the university, where she teaches 

‘The nature of it given my closeness to both of them was very disappointing for me. In a way it has been harder for me to process and come to terms with that then it has been with what happened to me in Iran,’ she said.

The academic admitted her husband ‘suffered a lot at the beginning’ of her arrest and was ‘quite vulnerable’.

‘I don’t know what happened, I don’t want to know, I don’t want to dwell on it. I just want to move on,’ she said.

Dr Moore-Gilbert was given a 10-year sentence but always denied the charges, that reportedly stemmed from the Iranian authorities’ belief that she was a spy for Israel because of her relationship with her husband – an Israeli citizen.

Mr Hodorov (pictured with his new partner Dr Kylie Baxter) eventually stopped saying ‘I love you’ to Dr Moore-Gilbert while she was in jail, she revealed last month

Dr Moore-Gilbert (pictured) said she was ‘upset and disappointed (Mr Hodorov) was not supporting me to the extent that I hoped he would’ while she was in an Iranian jail 

While in prison, she refused to help lure him to Iran in a plot concocted by her captors, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC). 

A letter from Dr Moore-Gilbert to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, which was smuggled out of Evin prison, revealed how the IRGC tried to set a trap for Mr Hodorov, who they accused of being an Israeli spy. 

When she was arrested, Dr Moore-Gilbert – who is also the cousin of Julian Assange – had been attending a conference in Iran when she was flagged as ‘suspicious’ by a fellow academic and by a subject she had interviewed for research.

She was subsequently tried and sentenced, and held in Evin prison in solitary confinement. Iranian authorities reportedly tried to recruit her as a spy in exchange for her release, which she declined. 

While imprisoned Dr Moore-Gilbert was kept in a tiny cell in freezing temperatures and was subjected to psychological torture. She staged several hunger strikes, and in May 2020 her family denied reports she had attempted suicide.

Nick Warner, the head of Australia’s intelligence service, successfully negotiated a prison swap for Dr Moore-Gilbert’s freedom.

She was exchanged for three Iranian prisoners in Thailand, two of whom had been convicted in connection with the 2012 Bangkok bomb plot.

Dr Moore-Gilbert (pictured) was locked up in solitary confinement in a windowless, two-by-two metre cell, with noise and lights blaring 24/7 

Dr Moore-Gilbert (pictured) admitted her husband ‘suffered a lot at the beginning’ of her arrest and was ‘quite vulnerable’ in an interview with Sky News last month 

He is understood to have spent months convincing officials in meetings and even at social functions to get the Thai prisoners released – who the Iranian government called ‘businessmen’.

Australia’s ambassador to Thailand, Allan McKinnon, also lobbied with Thai officials to release the three Iranian terrorists as an ­exchange for the Melbourne University lecturer. 

Dr Moore-Gilbert has carried out research into revolutions in the Middle East, particularly in Bahrain.

To this day, no evidence of her alleged crimes have been brought forward by Iran, and the Australian government has rejected them as ‘baseless and politically motivated’.

In December 2020, Western and Israeli media claimed Iran had launched a media misinformation campaign against Moore-Gilbert ‘accusing her of coordinating with a former Bahraini MP, Jasim Husain, to steal secrets for Israel’.

Husain was accused by Iran of teaching Moore-Gilbert Arabic and Persia, and offering to help her spy on Shia exiles in Iran.

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