According to a statement from the prosecutor on Tuesday, the charges are against a 41-year-old man for sexually assaulting three women in 2014 and 2018. Only one of the acts is said to be related to "The Voice of Holland". In addition, a 51-year-old was charged with suspected sexual assault "in or around the recording studio" of the show.
As reported by local media on Tuesday, the two accused are the 51-year-old band leader of the show, Jeroen Rietbergen, and the well-known 41-year-old Dutch rapper Ali B., who appeared as a judge on the show.
Rietbergen was the former partner of the presenter Linda de Mol ("Dream Wedding"), in turn the sister of the billionaire TV producer John de Mol. Linda de Mol separated from Rietbergen after the allegations became known. In a statement, the 50-year-old admitted "contacts of a sexual nature" and admitted to having sent WhatsApp messages with sexual content. After the public prosecutor's office announced that they were pursuing the case and wanted to charge him, Rietbergen said, according to "De Telegraaf": "I have always said that I have not committed any crimes. There was never any talk of coercion, physical harm or rape." This decision is now "a heavy blow". The alleged victim said, according to the daily, that she had the feeling that she was "really heard as a victim".
Producer and "The Voice" inventor De Mol claims to have known about allegations against Rietbergen since 2019, which had led to outrage in the Netherlands. "The Voice of Holland" was canceled in 2022 after an anonymous ex-contestant on the show said she was raped by juror Ali B. nine years ago. Ali B. denies the allegations.
In "The Voice" talented musicians can audition judges - so-called coaches - who sit in swivel chairs and judge only by their voice. The format has been sold in over 150 countries since 2010, from the US to Afghanistan.