Gabriel Soto and Irina Baeva Take Us Inside Their Real-Life Telenovela
Like so many of us lately, Gabriel Soto and Irina Baeva have been seeking a refuge from the general feeling of anxiety that has settled over the globe. In late March, they found that refuge in Acapulco, where they moved after leaving behind their busy lives in Mexico City. "We call it the family temple," says Soto of the couple's beach house, which belongs to his family. "This is the place where I find my center. It's where I reconnect with myself."
For the September issue of People en Español, the telenovela actors opened the doors of their love nest to the world, showing off their gorgeous home and reflecting on what life in quarantine has been like. "We try to work on what I call the 'triangle of life,' which is the connection between mind, body, and spirit," Soto, 45, tells the magazine. "I love meditation and Irina is now meditating with me." The couple also spend time working out together, tanning by the pool, and reading books. "We've been able to find peace," Soto says of life in quarantine. "I don't feel any difference. We are together all the time, and what I enjoy most is being with her."
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the couple had weathered their fair share of storms. Since meeting in 2016 while filming the soap opera Vino El Amor in Mexico, the pair have spent a lot of time defending their relationship from gossip hounds and critics who accused Baeva, 27, of being "the other woman" who caused Soto's 2018 divorce from Mexican actress Geraldine Bazán, 37. Baeva and Soto were first spotted together in 2018, but they didn't make their relationship Instagram-official until January 2019.
Soto denies having been unfaithful to the mother of his daughters and claims that Baeva was not the reason for his split with Bazán. "There was no third person [involved]," he told Telemundo's Suelta La Sopa in 2019. "Irina was my friend. My conscience is totally clear. I know perfectly the dates and how things happened." However telenovela-like the origins of their romance may have been, though, they seem to have settled down nicely in Acapulco, where they've spent time with Soto's daughters — Alexa Miranda, 6, and Elisa Marie, 11.
They've also been logging quality time with Baeva's family, who flew in from their native Russia in March but haven't yet been able to return home due to COVID-19 travel bans. (Baeva was born in Moscow and moved to Mexico in 2012 to pursue her career.) Still, the actress is grateful for the unexpected staycation with her sister and her nephews. "Everything happens for a reason," she says, embracing the positive side of this lockdown. "We don't often have so much time to enjoy as a couple."
Due to the pandemic, Baeva had to postpone her plans to study English in New York City and visit her home in Russia, while Soto had his theater projects placed on hold. The Mexican actor will star in a new telenovela, ¿Te Acuerdas De Mí?, this month, but in general, the decreased pace of life has only strengthened the couple's bond. Baeva — who learned Spanish on her own while taking acting classes in Mexico — says Soto's family has embraced her as their own, which means a lot given that her own clan is thousands of miles away. "They always show me their love and support," she says.
Baeva is also thrilled to have gotten a closer look at Soto's parenting skills these past few months. "He is a very generous person with his close friends, his family, his daughters," she explains. "One of the best things a woman can see in a man is when he is a great dad." "My granddaughters inherited Gabriel's beauty, his big heart, and talent," adds the actor's father, Francisco Soto-Borja, who supports his son's relationship, like the rest of his family. "The girls paint, they love sports."
After two years together, the couple haven't ruled out having kids one day, but for now they're just enjoying life as a twosome. "We are getting to know each other better as a couple, as individuals," says Soto, "and we are going forward in full force."
For more with Gabriel and Irina, look for the new issue of People en Español, on stands now.