The sexual assault scandal on the casting show ‘The Voice of Holland’ is gaining momentum. More and more former participants of the show are reporting assaults in the Dutch media. The second criminal complaint has just been filed against a musician, as the public prosecutor announced on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte also made a statement. The abuse is “unacceptable and outrageous”, he told Telegraaf. The Department of Justice called on potential victims to report the incident. What exactly happened behind the scenes of the show should become clear on Thursday in the online show “Boos”.
So far, a member of the jury and a musician have been charged. Former conductor Jeroen Rietbergen admitted abuse of power and resigned. On the other hand, rapper and jury member Ali B. denies all the allegations. A complaint has been filed against him.
The program “Boos”, which means “angry”, produced by a public television channel, had reported several incidents. The RTL Nederland television channel then canceled the casting and announced an investigation. In the meantime, the sponsors withdrew and the singer Anouk left the jury.
Former participants of the show now report in the media that they had to listen to obscene remarks, were groped and harassed. They felt vulnerable and threatened.
It’s the biggest #MeToo affair in Dutch show business to date. It is all the more explosive as Mol’s prominent media family is closely involved. “The Voice of Holland” was developed by television producer John de Mol, and the format has now been sold to dozens of countries. Additionally, the accused musician Rietbergen was the partner of John de Mol’s sister, Linda. De Mol has not yet commented.
After the allegations became known, Linda de Mol ended her relationship with Rietbergen after 14 years. The famous 57-year-old TV presenter also took time off from work. “I had a terrible nightmare for a few days,” she wrote on her Linda.nl media platform.
Her ex-boyfriend previously admitted to having sexual contact with women on the TV show. He apologized and said he underestimated his position of power. He assumed an equal relationship. Only now has he realized that women “may have experienced it differently.”
Rietbergen also said the incidents date back a few years. At that time he had already been admonished by “my client” and he confessed everything to his wife and entered therapy. But Linda explained that she didn’t know anything. (dpa)