TV pundit Derksen to quit over candle abuse story, refuses to apologise

Johan Derksen at the studio on Thursday night. Photo: Jeroen Jumelet ANP
Johan Derksen at the studio on Thursday night. Photo: Jeroen Jumelet ANP

Football pundit Johan Derksen said he is quitting football chat show Vandaag Inside and has refused apologise for his story about penetrating an unconscious woman with a candle, as sponsors abandon the show.

John de Mol’s media company Talpa, which was forced to cancel The Voice of Holland talent show following revelations about the sexual abuse of the contestants, had said Derksen and his fellow presenters would apologise on Thursday’s edition but a defiant Derksen said that ‘rubbed me up the wrong way’.

‘We were to offer our sincere apologies and then they would to decide to continue the programme. We’re not here to pass an apology exam. Kiss my arse,’ Derksen said.

Derksen, who later amended his story by saying that he had placed the candle between the woman’s legs and no penetration took place, said his story was ‘a slip up’ and if that was reason enough for sponsors to abandon the show he could not do his job properly.

‘There is no room for a Johan Derksen in the Netherlands,’ he said.

Presenter Wifred Genee and fellow pundit René van der Gijp, who were criticised for laughing about the story, said that if Derksen went, so would they.


The public prosecutor’s office since announced it will be investigating the matter despite the fact that the event took place 50 years ago and that, according to the law at the time, it would not be classed as rape and is probably too old anyway.

‘Whether or not that is the case depends on the seriousness of the offence, an OM spokesman told the AD. ‘We are investigating and depending on the outcome we will decide if we can prosecute. No official police report has been filed, this is a decision made by the public prosecutor’s office itself.’

The decision has raised eyebrows because the prosecution office is failing to process more current sex crime cases within the target period of six months. In 2018 it managed to clear just 36% of sex crimes within that period and last year the figure fell to 34%.

Update Friday afternoon: Production company Talpa said Derksen’s show Vandaag Inside would be scrapped from the schedules from Friday.

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