MP accused of sexually transgressive behavior resigns
Sidney Smeets, an attorney and member of Parliament for D66, resigned from Parliament on Thursday. The 45-year-old was accused of grooming, unwanted sexual advances, and sexually transgressive behavior by several young men on social media who said Smeets approached them through dating apps.
Some of the men were not yet 18 years of age at the time, they claim. On Wednesday, the party said it was going to carry out an internal investigation into the matter.
"Several people state that they have experienced contact with me as undesirable. As I also said yesterday, I was very shocked about that, because it was never my intention," Smeets said in a note publicly announcing his resignation. Without admitting wrongdoing, he said he was stepping down so that the accusations would not harm D66 or the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Parliament.
"This step hurts me. I thought it was incredibly honorable to be a Member of Parliament. Unfortunately, it was short-lived," he said.
Party leader Sigrid Kaag said she "fully respects and supports" the decision. She said his seat in Parliament will be D66's to fill.
It is the second time recently that D66 has been confronted with undesirable behavior within the party. In December, an anonymous whistleblower posted a story online accusing a prominent member of the party of sexual harassment or abuse of power, but the internal investigation found no evidence of this.