Kylie Moore-Gilbert was in mandatory hotel quarantine when she learned of her husband’s alleged affair with her colleague after spending more than two years locked up in Iran.
The Australian academic was released in November last year after spending 804 days in various hellhole prisons in Iran on trumped-up spying charges. She has always maintained her innocence.
After being released and touching down in Melbourne, Dr Moore-Gilbert was taken to hotel quarantine where her mother revealed her husband, Ruslan Hodorov, was having an affair with Dr Kylie Baxter, her university colleague and PhD supervisor.
‘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 bombshell Sky News tell-all on Tuesday night.
‘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.’
The Australian academic was released in November after spending 804 days in various hellhole prisons on trumped-up spying charges
Dr Moore-Gilbert was in hotel quarantine in Melbourne when her mother informed her of her husband’s alleged affair
British-Australian academic Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert (pictured left) split from her husband after allegedly discovering he had had an affair with colleague Dr Kylie Baxter while she was behind bars
Dr Moore-Gilbert said she became suspicious when her Russian-Israeli husband hadn’t 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 said that while locked up in the Middle East, Mr Hodorov eventually stopped saying ‘I love you’ during phone calls.
‘I was upset and disappointed he was not supporting me to the extent that I hoped he would,’ she said.
Dr Moore-Gilbert said she became suspicious when her Russian-Israeli husband hadn’t contacted her after touching down in Australia
‘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.
‘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.
Dr Moore-Gilbert 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.
‘I honestly wish him all the best, he’s not an evil person, she’s not an evil person. I hope they are happy together and hope we can all just move on with our lives.’
Dr Moore-Gilbert, an Islamic studies scholar, was freed last November in a prisoner swap deal after spending 804 days in jail on trumped-up spying charges
Dr Moore-Gilbert said that while locked up in the Middle East, Mr Hodorov eventually stopped telling her he loved her over the phone
Dr Moore-Gilbert admitted her husband ‘suffered a lot at the beginning’ of her arrest and was ‘quite vulnerable’
Before her September 2018 arrest, Dr Moore-Gilbert and Mr Hodorov had just bought a house in Melbourne’s east after marrying in 2017 in a Jewish ceremony.
Both Mr Hodorov and Dr Baxter pushed for Dr Moore-Gilbert’s release after her arrest for espionage in September 2018.
Dr Moore-Gilbert and Dr Baxter are both experts in Middle East studies at the University of Melbourne.
The couple married a few months before she left their Melbourne home on her study trip to Iran.
They met a decade earlier when she visited Israel, where Mr Hodorov lived after emigrating from Russia with his family.
Later in the bombshell interview, Dr Moore-Gilbert revealed she went ‘completely insane’ when she was first kept in solitary confinement.
She was locked up in solitary confinement in a windowless, two-by-two metre cell, with noise and lights blaring 24/7
‘I was never physically tortured with the things you think about like pulling fingernails or being electrocuted – that never happened to me – but I was beaten up once and forcibly injected with a syringe of tranquilliser against my will and that was in early 2020,’ she said.
She was locked up in solitary confinement in a windowless, two-by-two metre cell, with noise and lights blaring 24/7.
‘I would say I felt physical pain from the psychological trauma I had in that room. It is a two-by-two metre box – there is no toilet, there is no television,’ she said.
‘I felt if I have to endure another day of this – you know if I could I would just kill myself. But of course I never tried and I never took that step.
‘It’s psychological torture. You go completely insane. It is so damaging.’