Two former candidates of The Voice of Holland were a guest at BEAU, the talk show of the Dutch Erven Dorens. They told about their experiences with band leader Jeroen Rietbergen, who resigned from the program after allegations against him about sexually transgressive behaviour.
Nienke Wijnhoven did in 2018 – the season of Samantha Steenwijk – join in The Voice of Holland. She was 19 years old at the time. Bee BEAU she told Monday that she initially had a positive impression of Rietbergen, whom she calls “a very charming man”. He sometimes sent a sweet message, for example to ask if she had gotten home safely, which created a bond with the man. “As a result, you no longer see that it is crossing borders at the moment,” she explains.
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For example, once she had to lie down on the floor during singing lessons, after which Rietbergen, thirty years her senior, said that he “would like to lie on it sometimes”. Later, the band leader told her about studios upstairs that she was allowed to see. Afterwards, the teenager thought that there had been a miscommunication, because when they were upstairs “he started to feel”. Wijnhoven clearly has a hard time telling the story.
The second witness in Kirsten Berkx. In 2017 she finished in eighth place in The Voice of Holland. She calls the atmosphere behind the scenes of the program “intense”. “I ran from here to here stressed out and wore a kind of pajamas for large parts of those days. I remember walking down the hall and Jeroen Rietbergen standing behind me, there was no one else there. “What horny pants you have on,” he said. Berkx wonders aloud how the forty-something had the guts to say such a thing to a 26-year-old he did not know.
According to the singer, no one dared to address Rietbergen about his behavior. “Rietbergen is a powerful man. He is the fucking brother-in-law of John de Mol, the boss of everything.”