Dutch police have received five reports of alleged criminal abuse linked to The Voice of Holland talent show and some 20 reports of “inappropriate behavior and possible sexually transgressive behavior” by people linked to the show. The police statement on Monday (Feb. 7) revealed no further details of the complaints, citing privacy.
The online investigative show BOOS — the Dutch word for “angry” — reported last month that it had received multiple claims ranging from an allegation of rape to sexually-tinted WhatsApp messages sent by two panelists on The Voice of Holland and its pianist and band leader.
The show’s former producer, media tycoon John de Mol, apologized and told BOOS that in his years as The Voice of Holland’s producer he only received one complaint, and that was against the show’s pianist and band leader Jeroen Rietbergen, in 2019.
Rietbergen was the partner of De Mol’s sister, the Dutch television star Linda de Mol. She ended their relationship and the popular talent show was taken off the air amid the allegations. Rietbergen apologized for his behavior. Two other panelists have denied wrongdoing. Police said in a statement Monday that they are working with the country’s Public Prosecution Service to investigate the reports and whether they merit opening criminal investigations.
“This process takes time. We want to do this, as always, with the utmost care in the interest of the victims,” the force said. The reports of abuse at the ratings juggernaut that is broadcast in local versions around the world has re-opened the #MeToo debate in the Netherlands.