The BNNVara program ANGRY by Tim Hofman, based on a few dozen testimonials from women, who remain anonymous in the broadcast, a picture of the cross-border behavior that takes place behind the scenes of The Voice would have taken place. Some of them tell how Ali B would have urged several women to have sex, kissed them unsolicited and had sex with candidates.
The woman who filed the complaint says, in a distorted voice, that he started kissing her after a tour in the studio, after which she stiffened and he had sex with her. She was 18 at the time. Another woman relates that while she was performing oral sex in the shower with a celebrity, Ali B entered and penetrated her with his finger. Then he ‘pushed’ her to blow him too. She has also filed a complaint.
Ali B denies seeking or having sexual relations with a participant of The Voice of Holland. ‘There are now two anonymous reports that are presented as news with a lot of spectacle. That is wrong. This tends to trial by media‘, he writes in a statement. He expects the Public Prosecution Service to dismiss the cases against his client. ‘I was not guilty of what I was accused of in the declarations.’
On the broadcast of ANGRY Marco Borsato is also accused of sexually transgressive behaviour. ‘s coach The Voice of Holland and The Voice Kids would have touched the buttocks of a minor candidate, among other things. The young woman tells her story in the broadcast with a distorted voice. Borsato, who has previously denied such allegations, was already charged in December for indecent behavior.
Furthermore, fifteen people have stories with ANGRY shared about inappropriate comments and unwanted groping by an unnamed director of The Voice of Holland. John de Mol, the creator of the program, tells the stories of the women ANGRY seriously and states to Hofman that he is ‘in shock’. “I feel absolutely responsible. That’s not to say I’ve seen it or swept it under the rug. Or found good things that shouldn’t have been good.’
The cesspool opened on Saturday morning. Then RTL announced the broadcasts of The Voice, one of the most popular programs of the past decade. Sponsors such as T-Mobile and Lidl withdrew – the most watched talent show in the Netherlands has become an infected brand. Band leader Jeroen Rietbergen, also John de Mol’s brother-in-law, resigned when some of the complaints turned out to be about him.
ANGRY received nineteen testimonials about Rietbergen. The young women tell how he made sexually suggestive comments and sent unwanted sexually explicit messages and photos of his genitals. They saw Rietbergen, who, among other things, determined which candidate sang which song, as someone in a position of power.
Rietbergen acknowledges that he has had ‘contact of a sexual nature’ with women involved in the program. ‘I saw the contacts as reciprocal and equal. In the meantime I have become very aware that my own perception is not relevant at all, but much more the perception of the women concerned.’ Linda de Mol, John de Mol’s sister, said two days later that she had broken off her relationship with Rietbergen.
John de Mol
John de Mol late in the broadcast of ANGRY know in April 2019 to have been informed of a complaint about inappropriate text messages by his brother-in-law Rietbergen. “I had to restrain myself not to hit him flat on the mouth.” He is said to have informed Rietbergen that if he would text one more letter to a woman at the program, he would grab him ‘head and ass’ to throw him out. From the testimonials in ANGRY it turns out that the misbehavior continued after that.
De Mol says he was not aware of further misbehavior behind the scenes. He also states that he has never noticed a culture of fear. According to him, there are sufficient opportunities for women to report complaints, but the problem is that they do not do this. He thinks of a working group that should investigate in his network, Talpa, ‘what we can do to ensure that if something happens, people report it’.
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An earlier version of this article stated that there were two criminal investigations into indecent behavior against Borsato. However, it concerns one investigation, the other investigation was initiated following a libel complaint against the 22-year-old woman who accused Borsato.