‘Also victim Paul de Leeuw’

Erben Wennemars causes a huge shock live on television by revealing that he too was the victim of Paul de Leeuw’s angry explosions. “I thought: this is not my world.”


Is it an exaggeration that Paul de Leeuw’s shouting match at a director during recordings in a children’s hospital made the news? Opinions are divided, but one thing is certain: this incident does not seem to be an isolated incident. Erben Wennemars caused a shock last night Humberto by revealing that he is also a victim.

Angry at Erben

Erben talks at the talk show table about his own experiences with Paul. “I did another program together with Paul de Leeuw. The Madiwodo Friday show. That was not a complete success, I can tell you, but it was also intense at the time.”

Even more intense than skating? “I was used to something from the sports world – it can be tough at times – but I thought at the time… I don’t think Paul was feeling very well at the time either and if the program didn’t run… He felt the pressure, so he was sometimes angry. He was also angry with me sometimes. Then I think: yes…”

Standing male

Humberto Tan wonders whether a strong personality like Erben was intimidated by that. “How did that manifest itself, Erben? You can literally hold your own.”

Erben responds that Paul especially gave him an aversion to the TV world. “At one point I thought for a moment: this is not my world. No, yes, god, what was that like? It was quite normal… That program didn’t work and if it didn’t work out… He was the star, he had to carry it and if it didn’t work out, he sometimes got angry.”

‘It was intense’

Paul became furious with everything and everyone. “And also sometimes angry at people around him. That was a long time ago and I never experienced it as a big deal, because sometimes things just don’t work out and then you get frustrated, but the next day we just went back to it and tried to make something fun of it.”

How violent was Paul’s behavior? “Well, it was quite intense. It was really intense, yes. During those debriefings I occasionally thought for a moment: six months ago I was applauded in a packed Thialf and now I am sitting somewhere in a studio in Almere at half past twelve at night doing an evaluation in a way that makes me think: craziness.”

‘Really sucks’

Would Erben still tolerate such behavior in 2024? “I think I would deal with it differently now, but then it wasn’t weird or anything and I don’t blame him either. I felt very strongly: it was his show, his studio and he wanted to do it. If it didn’t work out and Paul didn’t succeed either… Yes, that will be expressed.”

Misconduct in the TV world must be over, he concludes. “I was man enough to say afterwards: you know, I don’t think I’m suitable for this. (…) It really sucks and that is absolutely not allowed. It always involves performing under high pressure, but we must always treat each other decently. Act normal.”