The Voice of Holland, the original version of the global hit singing competition format, has been pulled off the air amid allegations of “very serious and shocking” sexual misconduct by members of the show’s production staff, according to a statement from its Dutch broadcaster.
Jeroen Rietbergen, the show’s bandleader, resigned Saturday (Jan. 15) in a statement released to Dutch news service ANP. He admitted to “relationships of a sexual nature” with women involved in The Voice of Holland and said he “exchanged sexually explicit messages” with the women. Rietbergen said he did not believe he was abusing his position of power on the production, and he included an apology “to the women involved for things I should never have done.”
Reitbergen said in his statement that the incidents occurred many years ago and that he has since received professional help, but he did not provide specifics of the treatment. For more than a decade, Reitbergen has been in a romantic relationship with Linda de Mol, Dutch TV star and the sister of The Voice creator John de Mol. Linda de Mol declined to comment.
Ali B, a popular Dutch rapper and a Voice of Holland coach, has also been reported to the Netherlands’ Public Prosecution Service for “sexually transgressive behavior” in connection with the show, his lawyer confirmed Saturday in a statement. No details were given. The Public Prosecution Service decides if an accused person should be tried and for what offense. Via Instagram, Ali B claimed he was “100 percent convinced” of his own innocence.
RTL, the Dutch broadcaster that carries The Voice, one of the most popular shows in the Netherlands, said Saturday it was suspending the show while the allegations are being investigated.
“The allegations are very serious and shocking and were not known to RTL,” the channel said in its statement. “Based on these allegations, [The Voice] producer ITV has been contacted and a mutual agreement has been reached that ITV will immediately initiate a diligent, independent investigation. The broadcasts of The Voice of Holland will be suspended for the time being until more is clear.”
The misconduct allegations came to light as a result of an investigation by BOOS, a news program on Dutch public broadcaster BNNVARA.
The Voice of Holland is the original version of the singing contest franchise that John de Mol and Roel van Velzen created back in 2010. The show spawned dozens of local versions around the world, including a U.S. version on NBC, which has won seven Emmys. The 12th season of The Voice of Holland premiered Jan. 7.
ITV bought John de Mol’s production company Talpa in 2015, acquiring the rights to The Voice and taking over the production of the various versions of the show worldwide. It is not clear whether the alleged misconduct at The Voice of Holland took place before or after the ITV takeover.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.