EXCLUSIVE: Exile Content Studio, the Latinx-led Hollywood production company, is launching true-crime podcast Sacred Scandal, about the investigation into the 2001 murder of Sister Michelle Lewis, a Miami nun, by Mykhaylo Kofel, a teenage monk.
Kofel had been recruited in Ukraine by a man posing as a Catholic priest and brought to Miami’s Holy Cross Academy, where he witnessed and endured four years of improper behavior and alleged sexual abuse.
After confessing to the nun’s murder, Kofel (who was 18 at the time) was convicted and sentenced to a 30-year-term at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown, FL, while the bogus priest Father Wendt and his partner Father Damian were able to walk away without punishment when the investigation was abruptly closed.
Sacred Scandal is hosted and co-produced by Chilean-born comedian and voice actress Paula Barros and Chilean-born documentary filmmaker Melanie Bartley (Full Dress). Dennis Funk is also executive producer for the podcast, which will debut on December 20 on iHeart and other podcasting platforms.
Nando Vila, Head of Podcasts for Exile said: “We at Exile strive to deliver unusual and compelling content to consumers, and Sacred Scandal, a fascinating real-life story of an investigation of a seemingly senseless murder of a nun that revealed the shocking truth about the priests in charge of a monastery at a prestigious Miami Academy is exactly the kind of stories podcast lovers live for.”
“We’re privileged to bring Kofel’s side of the story to audiences for the first-time ever and to shed a new light on a case that took Miami by storm,” added Barros. “Sacred Scandal will captivate listeners, giving them a fresh perspective, so the world will finally know exactly what transpired at Holy Cross Academy 20 years ago.”
Barros attended Holy Cross Academy and personally knew Sister Michelle, Kofel and the priests. After sharing the tale with her friend Bartley, they spent the past 15 years researching, conducting interviews with Kofel, Holy Cross faculty and students, detectives and attorneys assigned to the case.
As we revealed last week, Exile has just signed a development deal with Benicio Del Toro. The company most recently co-produced Netflix series Everything Will Be Fine (Todo Va A Estar Bien) with Diego Luna as showrunner, and HBO docuseries Un Sueño Real, about Real Madrid’s women’s football team. Company Chairman Isaac Lee was previously exec producer on Netflix series El Chapo.
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