Dutch police investigate complaints of abuse at talent show

Dutch police said they had received five reports of alleged criminal abuse linked to the talent show “The Voice of Holland” and about 20 reports of “inappropriate and potentially sexually offensive behavior” by people linked to the show.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch police have received five reports of alleged criminal abuse linked to the talent show “The Voice of Holland” and nearly 20 reports of “inappropriate and potential sexually offensive behavior” by people associated with the show.

The police statement, Monday, did not reveal more details about the complaints, citing privacy.

Online investigative program ‘BOOS’ – the Dutch word for ‘angry’ – reported last month that it had received several allegations ranging from an allegation of rape to sexually overtone WhatsApp messages sent by two panelists about ‘The Voice of Holland’, the pianist and bandleader. .

The former producer of the series, media mogul John de Mol, apologized and told “BOOS” that during his years as producer “The Voice of Holland” he had only received one complaint, and that was against pianist and band leader Jeroen Rietbergen on the program, in 2019.

Rietbergen was the partner of De Mol’s sister, Dutch TV star Linda de Mol. They ended their relationship and the popular talent show was suspended amid these allegations. Rietbergen apologized for his behaviour. Two other members denied any wrongdoing.

The police said in a statement on Monday that they are working with the country’s public prosecutor to investigate the reports and whether they merit the opening of criminal investigations.

“This process takes time. We want to do this, as always, with the utmost care in the best interests of the victims,” ​​the force said.

Reports of abuse in ratings broadcast in local versions around the world have reopened the #MeToo debate in the Netherlands.

In an unrelated case, a top official at Ajax Amsterdam football club resigned on Sunday night and apologized for sending inappropriate messages to his female teammates.

Marc Overmars, a former star with Ajax, Arsenal, Barcelona and the Dutch national team, has apologized in a statement issued by Ajax. He said he “didn’t realize I crossed the line with this, but it was made clear to me in recent days.”

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