Tom Egbers has joined the TV show Khalid & Sophie on NPO 1 for the first time responded to the allegations that he bullied and intimidated a young female colleague.
The presenter spoke of “several dark periods” in his 32-year marriage, “with multiple extramarital escapades”. He said that in 2005 he met “a young, talented woman” at the editorial office, with whom he clicked. He brought her home regularly because they lived close together and the two kissed.
The presenter denies that he threatened the woman at the sports office with death when it was over, by making a gesture as if he was cutting someone’s throat. “I ended it after about three years. I didn’t want any contact with her anymore.”
Harassment and bullying
An article, which appeared in the Volkskrant on Saturday, writes about Egbers’ affair with the woman. According to the newspaper, the situation escalated when Egbers’ wife, Janke Dekker, discovered the relationship and contacted the woman.
Egbers then proceeded to bully and intimidate the woman at work, the newspaper wrote, and that behavior would have continued for almost two years. Eventually, the woman went to the editor-in-chief. He promised to talk to Egbers, but that would not have helped.
Egbers said he thinks changes are needed at NOS Sport:
Tom Egbers: ‘I want to be able to look everyone in the eye’
He did not deny that he called the woman “the axis of evil”, as stated in the Volkskrant article. Khalid & Sophie. Egbers says he regrets that he did that several times on a busy editorial floor, where everyone could hear it.
He said he was not aware of his position of power as a well-known presenter. When asked whether it was his own choice not to appear on TV for the time being, he said that he thinks it is especially important that peace returns to the editorial office of NOS Sport.
After four decades of being put in the bulky waste, I will not just let that happen.
Egbers was last on the sports editorial last Thursday, “where he saw and felt the anger and frustration” among his colleagues. “Anger about how it is possible that nothing has been done with complaints, for example.” He called that atmosphere apocalyptic and stayed at home for several days.
“It touches me,” said a visibly emotional Egbers. “I want to be able to look everyone straight in the eye. And I want to talk to everyone who has felt unsafe because of me. But I will not let myself be thrown into the trash after four decades. I will not let that happen just like that.”