A PODCAST which broadcasts from a Mayfield laundry has become an unexpected international hit.
The Jeffrey Epstein, the Prince and the Pervert Podcast is the creation of former Newcastle Herald journalists Jen Tarran and Lisa Tait and has had more than 600,000 downloads, the majority in the US.
The Newcastle-based duo started the project because they were outraged at the injustice surrounding the now-dead billionaire paedophile.
His victims number in the thousands and include Australian resident Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who shocked the world in 2015 with her allegations of being sex trafficked to Prince Andrew as a 17 year old by Epstein and his alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell.
Ms Tarran said the work was a "labour of love" and aimed to "shine light on a travesty of justice".
"We had no idea how big this would become, how broad the issue was and how much it would take over our lives," she said.
The pair started recording in November 2019 at RTN studios in Mayfield West, but retreated to Ms Tarran's laundry when the pandemic hit. They are now working at Novotone Studios in Carrington.
"When COVID hit we covered the walls of the laundry with blankets and carpet and I took over editing the sound as no-one needed to hear the neighbour's dog constantly barking," Ms Tarran said.
"Now we are working with Novotone, but we still record in the laundry when news breaks."
The podcast covers news in different time zones, so the duo record in the middle of the night as most listeners are based in the US.
The pair have been guests on several major US podcasts and have been approached to be involved in documentaries on the case, including a series commissioned by the BBC.
Their work has led to numerous world exclusives, including highlighting the time Epstein spent in Australia and tracing Epstein's donations to various charities and foundations.
"We tell the stories of the Epstein survivors, who are now women. It's a huge honour and privilege," Ms Tait said.
"We will never forget that our work is a tribute to them. These women matter."
The podcast has had almost 600,000 downloads since December 2019, is regularly ranked at number five on UK iTunes in news commentary and was rated the 73rd most popular podcast for Australians by Great Australian Pods, despite less than 10 per cent of listeners being located in Australia.
It covers every aspect of the case, from Ghislaine Maxwell's criminal charges, to detailing the associates and employees of Epstein, along with other similar cases such as the Finnish-Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard who was recently arrested in Canada for sexual abuse crimes dating back to the 1970s.
The pair use the podcast platform as their primary news outlet but also repurpose their work for their website, jeffreyepsteinpodcast.com and for their Facebook group, on twitter and YouTube.
For more information visit jeffreyepsteinpodcast.com.
Newcastle Podcast Festival will be held from 19 to 21 February.
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