Tuesday 29 November 2022

Prosecutors start criminal inquiry into The Voice sexual abuse allegations

Judge Ali B. is the subject of three police complaints. Photo: ANP Kippa/ Marco de Swart

The public prosecution office has launched a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual abuse and intimidation around TV talent show the Voice of Holland.

The inquiry is based on five formal complaints against four men involved in The Voice, including jury members Ali B. and Marco Borsato and band leader Jeroen Rietbergen.

The Voice was taken off the air in January after an online documentary was broadcast in which dozens of women accused celebrities involved in The Voice of abusing them. Ali B. is the subject of three complaints, including one alleging rape.

The prosecution service (OM) said the criminal inquiry would take ‘some time’ to complete and police were still gathering evidence.

‘After the completion of the investigation the OM will decide if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the suspects, or whether this is not the case and the prosecution does not proceed,’ the OM said in a statement.

A total of 15 women told Tim Hofman, who presented the online documentary Boos that revealed the scandal, that an unnamed director of the show touched contestants and made inappropriate comments. The man denied all the allegations via his lawyer.

In the wake of the documentary sponsors cancelled their contracts with the show, another judge, Anouk, quit the line-up and Rietbergen split with his partner, Linda de Mol. The Voice format has been sold to broadcasters in 50 countries since its inception in 2010.

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