‘She has to choose between love and career’

Linda de Mol ultimately has to make a choice between her beloved Jeroen Rietbergen and her career on television, thinks the feared opinion maker Victor Vlam. “It can’t be both.”


At the beginning of last week it was a huge blow to Linda de Mol: her lover Jeroen Rietbergen is definitively prosecuted for rape. According to Sébas Diekstra, the lawyer of his alleged victim, he runs the risk of receiving three to six months in prison. And that would kill Linda’s image.

Sex offender

Victor Vlam thinks it’s time for Linda to make a choice, he says in the podcast The Communicados. “I find it very hard to imagine that Linda de Mol has a career if she chooses to continue with him. That she will start a relationship with him, that he will remain her partner while he is being prosecuted for rape.”

He continues: “There is a chance that he will soon be a convicted sex offender. I think image-wise it’s really, really, really hard. And that means that basically – it’s almost a Shakespearean tragedy where you get to deal with this – she has to choose between her lover and her career. I think that’s the choice she has.”


Co-host Lars Duursma thinks that goes a long way. “Yes, I think it’s a very difficult one, because I don’t think you should judge people on their loved one. And I understand that there is indeed a PR problem for her.”

He continues: “And yet I would find it really bad if we were in a situation where we ask and require people to give up their relationships to save their careers. I mean, that’s a sacrifice you shouldn’t ask from people on television or anywhere else, I think.”


Victor thinks so. “Yeah, I think the tricky part is that it looks like Linda is siding with the rapist rather than the victim in a very, very high profile case of where rape may have occurred. She does not side with the sympathetic victim, but with the rapist. I think that’s how the public could see it.”

He continues: “And that is just killing for your image, because yes, she was sympathetic. She was just the friendly neighbor, the good friend we all have. That’s just the big problem for Linda.”

Choose side

Lars believes that an intermediate form is possible. “I can imagine that when Linda de Mol comes on the red carpet, she won’t take him with her. And that he does not sit next to her at certain performances, but that she does have a relationship with him behind the scenes at home. Yes, I think that should be normal, also from a human perspective.”

Victor wonders if that is possible. “I mainly look at it from: is it possible? Is it possible? Will the public accept this? And then I immediately think: how can you sell this to the public? (…) I still think it is very difficult for people to get over the fact that Linda is siding with the rapist instead of her.”

Lars concludes: “Yes, but of course also applies here: he hasn’t been convicted yet, has he? (…) He is being charged, we don’t know at all what will happen there. So I think this is a very difficult situation, Victor.”


De Communicado’s is about Linda from minute 10:00: