TV host Derksen quits after admitting sexual abuse incident
Johan Derksen said he is leaving the SBS6 program Vandaag Inside after his statements about how he sexually assaulted a drunk and unconscious woman in the 1970s. "I'm out," he said in the broadcast on Thursday. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) will investigate the claims he made. On the program on Tuesday, he said that he penetrated the woman with a candle. A day later, he backpedaled and said he didn't actually penetrate her, calling it "a youthful sin."
Derksen said Talpa ordered him to apologize on Thursday for the story he told on Tuesday. The studio would decide the future of the talk show based on that apology. Derksen said he wouldn't wait for that decision. "Well, I'll make that decision," he said. "It's my fault." His departure may also mean the end of the program. Wilfred Genee indicated that they should stop completely, but it is unclear whether that will happen.
Derksen lost his program on Radio West due to his statements, and his theater tour may also be canceled. "If you work for a radio for 20 years and do 600 theaters and you slip up once, and that stops, then there is no longer any room for Johan Derksen in the Netherlands." He said he regrets his statements but wonders who he should apologize to. "I take all the blame. It was the wrong tone and the wrong story," he said.
The OM Noord-Nederland launched an investigation into the sexual assault Derksen described. "This investigation aims to find the truth of possible criminal behavior that was discussed in that program. We also call on those involved, as far as is still possible, to tell their story," the OM said on Thursday. The OM added that the statute of limitations may have passed if anything comes out of the investigation.
"It is clear that this is highly disapproved of transgressive behavior. The way in which it was discussed on the TV program is also particularly hurtful. This can deeply affect victims of sexual offenses even after a long time," the OM said.
Johan Derksen has caused numerous outroars in the Netherlands over the past years, mostly due to racist comments and jokes about LGBTQI+ people. He claimed that he was receiving death threats after he called Turkey a "shit country" and implied that gay men are over exaggerating when they talk about violence against the LGBTQI+ community. Before that, he also said that gay men would find it easier to come out if they had more character. He compared Black politician Sylvana Simmons to a monkey, rapper and activist Akwassi to Zwarte Piet. He said that football clubs "go to shit" if they are located in neighborhoods where many Moroccan families live.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times.