The trial against Bart De Pauw will start next Thursday, January 14 in Mechelen. There he will face nine women who accuse him of sexually transgressive behavior, stalking and electronic nuisance.
The case involving television maker Bart De Pauw started at the end of 2017. During the full MeToo period, the VRT surprisingly fired their viewing rating gun after several complaints. De Pauw himself already complained that he was not allowed to look into those complaints and therefore could not defend himself sufficiently. He also always maintained his innocence and denies everything.
Nevertheless, there was clearly more than enough evidence for the public prosecutor’s office because it decided at the end of May 2020 to prosecute Bart De Pauw. The TV maker then claimed to be relieved because it gave him the opportunity to tell his story. Also, the prosecutors would no longer be anonymous. He even declined the opportunity to evade his trial through mediation.
In the meantime, Bart De Pauw has had the opportunity to view his more than 4,000-page file and therefore knows who is accusing him of what. The rest of the world will also hear these names on January 14. Then the agenda for the trial against him is planned. There the date of the actual process will be determined.
4 actresses, 5 behind the scenes
The newspaper Het Nieuwsblad was now also able to view the list of names. They note that the profiles of the nine women are very diverse. It concerns four actresses and five women who work or worked behind the scenes. Their ages and the moment when they came into contact with Bart De Pauw also vary enormously.
One of the actresses worked intensively with him on a fiction program fifteen years ago, another did so shortly after. A third actress only recently worked with Bart De Pauw. There is also a journalist who played a part in one of his programs.
Another one started as an intern at Koeken Troef, the production house of Bart De Pauw, and continued to work there as an editor for several programs. Another employee left his production house in 2015. There is also a dresser and stylist. Finally, there are also two friends who met Bart De Pauw during their film and TV studies.
“Only way to justice”
According to Liesbet Stevens of the Institute for the Equality of Women and Men, which represents them, the women are ready to go public. “They are at peace in principle that coming out into the open will be the only way for them to obtain justice,” she says in Het Nieuwsblad.
UPDATE: 9 women come forward
UPDATE: The newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws has now released the complete list of names. It would be Maaike Cafmeyer, Cathérine Ongenae, Liesa Naert, Dymphne Poppe, Ellen Lloyd, Lize Feryn, Ella-June Henrard, Jenka Van de Voorde and Helena De Craemer.
“We are relieved that the lawsuit is finally starting. And yet we regret that all of this has to be done through judicial channels. All we want is for the persistent cross-border behavior to stop. That Bart De Pauw acknowledges that he made a serious mistake, that he apologizes and is not guilty of such behavior in the future. We hope this matter will be brought to a successful conclusion in a fair and respectful manner. Hopefully it can strengthen other victims of transgressive behavior to dare to sound the alarm. We will further refrain from any comment in the media. We would therefore kindly ask to respect our privacy and that of our loved ones, ”they say in a joint press release.