A British-Australian academic who spent two years in an Iranian prison has announced that she is divorcing her husband after discovering that he had an affair with her friend and colleague while she was in custody.
Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Islamic scholar, was released on a prisoner swap last November after spending 804 days in an Iranian prison on charges of espionage.
On her return, however, she found that her Russian-Israeli husband, Ruslan Hodorov, was having an affair with Dr. Kylie Baxter, her college colleague and graduate student, had been held captive while she was being held.
The 33-year-old filed for divorce shortly after her release and announced on her Twitter account on Thursday that it was official.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert (left) discovered that her husband, Ruslan Hodorov, was having an affair with Dr. Kylie Baxter (pictured right together) had
Both 31-year-old Hodorov and 43-year-old Dr. Baxter urged the release of Dr. Moore-Gilbert after she was arrested for espionage at Tehran Airport in September 2018 while trying to leave the country.
She was sentenced to ten years in prison but always denied charges, which reportedly stemmed from the Iranian authorities’ belief that she was a spy for Israel because of her relationship with her husband, an Israeli national.
While in prison, she refused to lure him to Iran in a conspiracy by her kidnappers, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC).
A letter from Dr. Moore-Gilbert to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was smuggled out of Evin Prison, revealed how the IRGC attempted to trap Mr Hodorov, whom they accused of being an Israeli spy.
It was reported that she suffered an “immense” shock upon learning of her husband’s betrayal. Friends previously told Australian news outlets that the affair began a year after Dr. Moore-Gilbert had started.
Before her arrest in September 2018, Dr. Moore-Gilbert and Mr Hodorov just bought a house in Melbourne after getting married in a Jewish ceremony in 2017.
Dr. Moore-Gilbert said the divorce was finalized in a post on Twitter, highlighting the situation with a reference to a cameo by Kylie Minogue on the Australian sitcom Kath & Kim
Dr. Moore-Gilbert, an Islamic scholar, was released on a prisoner swap last November after spending 804 days in an Iranian prison on espionage charges, which she denies
They met a decade earlier when she was visiting Israel, where Mr. Hodorov lived after immigrating from Russia with his family.
When he was arrested, Moore-Gilbert – who is also Julian Assange’s cousin – was attending a conference in Iran when she was classified as “suspicious” by a colleague and a subject she had interviewed for research purposes.
She was then sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage and was held in solitary confinement in Evin Prison. The Iranian authorities reportedly tried to recruit her as a spy in exchange for her release, which she refused.
She was arrested after suspecting she was a spy when it was discovered that she was married to an Israeli, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
During his detention, Dr. Moore-Gilbert held in a tiny cell in sub-zero temperatures and subjected to psychological torture. She went on several hunger strikes, and in May 2020 her family denied reports that she attempted suicide.
Nick Warner, the head of the Australian Secret Service, successfully completed a prison swap for the freedom of Dr. Moore-Gilbert negotiated.
Australian scientist Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert was sentenced to ten years in prison but always denied the charges, which were reportedly based on the Iranian authorities’ belief that she was a spy for Israel because of her relationship with her husband, an Israeli citizen
It was exchanged for three Iranian prisoners in Thailand, two of whom were convicted in connection with the 2012 Bangkok bombing.
He is believed to have spent months convincing officials at meetings and even at social events to release the Thai prisoners – who have been labeled “business people” by the Iranian government.
The Australian Ambassador to Thailand, Allan McKinnon, also sat down with Thai officials to release the three Iranian terrorists in exchange for the Melbourne University professor.
Dr. Moore-Gilbert and Dr. Baxter are both experts in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Melbourne, where she teaches. Moore-Gilbert has studied revolutions in the Middle East, particularly in Bahrain.
To date, Iran has provided no evidence of their alleged crimes and the Australian government has dismissed them as “unfounded and politically motivated”.
In December 2020, Western and Israeli media claimed Iran had launched a media misinformation campaign against Moore-Gilbert, “which accused them 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 of offering to spy on Shiite exiles in Iran.