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Arya thought had she met an amazing man after a difficult divorce—until there was an unexpected knock on her door.
The single mom believed she was dating a sensitive, attentive millionaire who was quirky and fun, but the surprise visitor who arrived on her doorstep late Sunday night would shatter that image and begin to unravel a story that questions friendship, belonging, lies and love.
The investigation—and the secrets uncovered—serve as the backdrop for the new UCP Audio podcast “Do You Know Mordechai?” launching April 28.
“For nearly a year, Arya dated men she met online — lots of duds, disappointments and some disasters, but then, along came Mordechai, Mordechai Horowitz, and Arya fell hard,” host Kathleen Goldhar says in podcast’s trailer obtained exclusively by Oxygen.com. (Listen in the audio player below.)
But as Arya fell deeper for the “sensitive millionaire” she soon discovered she wasn’t the only one to succumb to his charms when that fateful knock on her door came at 9:38 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2020, just as she was sitting down to catch up on “This is Us.”
“I opened the door. There is a woman standing there, pleasant-looking woman, but it’s still Sunday night after 9 p.m. It’s like ‘What’s going on?’ and she said, ‘I think you know someone named Mordechai Horowitz?’” Arya says in the trailer. “And I said, ‘Oh, you better come in.’”
Over course of the seven-episode podcast, Arya discovers there are many other women who have crossed paths with Mordechai and uncovers significant questions about his identity.
The story is particularly personal for Goldhar, who also serves as producer of the podcast alongside Michelle Shephard, Stuart Coxe, UCP Audio and Antica Productions, because she and Arya share a unique connection.
“Arya and I weren’t meant to be friends,” Goldhar explains in the podcast’s trailer. “You see both of us were married to the same man. I married him first, divorced him, then Arya married him.”
Goldhar, who serves as an executive producer at Antica Productions, told Oxygen.com their relationship deepened when Arya divorced the man they had both once loved and the two women worked together to minimize the impact to their children.
“What we found out was we did develop into really, really good friends,” she said. “(It was) a friendship based on understanding the other one in a way that nobody else in the world could because we had both gone through a divorce with the same person, and that turned into a friendship that is about much more.”
Goldhar is an experienced journalist and podcast producer—having served as producer of the podcast “Escaping NXIVM”—but unlike the other stories she’s told, this time, she watched the drama play out in real-time through her friendship with Arya.
“It happened to a very close friend, I saw the emotional response to it and then I was with her as she uncovered who he really was,” Goldhar said of this cautionary tale about online dating. “And so just naturally it was compelling because every time she told me the next step, I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? No way.’”
At one point, as the revelations continued, Arya remarked that “my life is a podcast” and two decided to bring that idea to reality.
“It came out of a deep love for her and a deep sadness that she got so hurt,” Goldhar said.
But while the story is personal for Goldhar, she isn’t the only one who will relate to the story, particularly in a world where online dating has become the norm.
“It’s very relatable because I mean, who meets anybody other than online these days unless you are lucky enough to have met them at school or work,” she said.
Goldhar herself found love again online with her second husband and said while deception can be an unfortunate part of the online dating process, many continue to be drawn to the dating avenue because of their desire to connect with others.
“We all just want to be with a partner and that’s what it comes down to, as human beings we don’t want to be alone and that’s what was driving Arya,” she said.
“Do You Know Mordechai?” also gave Goldhar a chance to team up again with Josh Bloch, of UCP Audio, who is leading the podcast efforts. The pair also worked together on “Escaping NXIVM,” which was reported and produced by Bloch.
“I love, love, love working with Josh,” Goldhar said. “He has an amazing brain for telling audio stories.”
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