“Linda must really regret this!”

One MeToo affair is not like another. Marc Overmars cried crocodile tears for a while, but is now back to work. Other alleged perpetrators, including Marco Borsato, are being boycotted and have been at home wringing their hands for weeks. Linda de Mol is also ‘at home’ in a sense (she is not on the TV). If she has already looked away when Jeroen misbehaved, she will really regret that.

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Linda de Mol is still recovering from her breakup with Jeroen Rietbergen. Although she has started shooting a new television series, she is not on television for the time being. Nor is she on the cover of the new edition of her own magazine. Partner Jeroen had previously been reprimanded for misconduct at The Voice, but should have continued his work. After that Jeroen had relapsed into his old behavior…

Was it naive of employer (and brother-in-law) John de Mol at the time, or was the latter less concerned with the affair at the time than he was willing to admit later in the BOOS broadcast? In that case, John de Mol would certainly not be the only one, as it turned out this week. Football club Royal Antwerp FC finds it no problem at all to do business with football bobo Marc Overmars. The wealthy club boss Paul Gheysens would have dismissed the dickpic affair at Ajax as a private matter. Despite the blemish on his blazon, Overmars gets back to work.

Hugo Metsers also seems to escape the dance. The actor (including Women’s Wing, Baantjer, GTST) and director of his own acting training Faaam is accused of transgressive behaviour. Metsers’ reaction: ,,I take it very seriously that there are former students who have unpleasant feelings about my lessons. That was never my intention and I sympathize with them. I respect everyone’s experience and wish I had experienced it better.”

It’s the well-known apology. Overmars also said: ,,I am ashamed. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was crossing boundaries with my behavior, but that became clear to me these days.” And Rietbergen said: ,,I am very aware that (…) these women may have experienced this differently. This insight has made me realize that my behavior has been wrong.” They are rehearsed phrases to limit the damage.

Previous reprimand

In an attempt to save what can be saved, Hugo Metsers withdraws from the training. “Due to the current unrest in all media and to allow classes to take place in peace, we are suspending all my teaching activities with immediate effect. Also, I will not participate in student assessments and judging during auditions of prospective students for the time being.” What stands out is the word ‘provisional’. Metsers seems to be mainly waiting until all the commotion has blown over.

Because it remains to be seen that all these men are truly sorry. Just as Rietbergen made a mistake after an earlier reprimand, Metsers could not resist the temptation more often. After kissing a student at a party in 2015, he also apologized: “That was very stupid, I was under the influence at the time.” But later many frowned again when he started a relationship with a former student from his education. How come, hardheads?

Victim role
When victims of MeToo affairs hope that their tormentor shows real remorse, in many cases they seem to come home from a rude awakening. Some men fall into easy excuses and others keep quiet, possibly so as not to burden themselves. I was previously critical of Linda de Mol, who in my opinion crept too much into the victim role. Only she herself knows whether she is really not to blame. But I have no doubt that she is genuinely sorry. Regrets that she has apparently been blind to her partner’s misbehavior all this time.

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