GIJS VAN DAM: “I’ll NEVER be the old’

Last year, in October, was the office of television and evenementenproducent GIJS VAN DAM is still filled with driven, creative people, working with large and ambitious projects. How great is the contrast, a year later. The workspace of the media entrepreneur is now empty and abandoned, and the assignments continue. At HP/De tijd, that today appears, tells Van Dam how to make that one phone call, on October 21, 2017, his life in one fell swoop changed forever.

“It started with a phone call: a voice from hell…”

“I was at home on the couch,” says Van Dam, “one minute to six on Saturday night. And when did the civilization to exist. That moment I will never forget. I got a call with a blocked number. Normally I take those never on. But I thought: there is something strange, because otherwise, calling someone not at this time. So I took on. I heard a voice from hell. It turned out to be no less than the deputy editor-in-chief of Trouw. He said: ’Can you speak?’ And also: “You are accused of rape in the context of #MeToo.’ (…) After he had hung up, I thought only: what the fuck. It felt suddenly like I was inside was dead. As if all of the air out of me sucked away. As if nothing ever fun it would be.”

The journalist wanted to in the first instance, not tell who it was, but called a few minutes later to say that JELLE BRANDT CORSTIUS – who, like Van Dam, worked at Barend & Van Dorp – the one who was Of Dam of rape had been accused. “When I was little relieved, for I thought: that was not a rape. I replied, ” But that was voluntary. That was just a one night stand.’ I also said right away that we are about the same age, that there is no power dynamic. That we were drunken and then had sex.”


During the phone call, it became clear that From the Dam within 24 hours to respond to an open letter from Brandt Corstius, in which he writes ” in the very beginning of his tv career’ to be raped. The newspaper had plans the article on Monday morning to publish. “When it disappeared for the last bit of light from my life. It felt like a bulldozer over me was driven. I knew immediately: this will never be good. I have after that phone calls two hours for me sitting staring. I didn’t know what I should do. I think I have that first Saturday night, even thought about suicide.”

After Van Dam in a total panic, a friend had called, he saw only one option: a lawyer. “I was completely numb and could barely think. This was the most horrible thing I ever had happen to you. That I realized immediately.” There was then a mail prepared to be Faithful, after which the newspaper responded, ” to refrain from publication on Monday’. My attorney said, ’It worked.’ But I knew that it was not at all successful. That reporter was so biased in the way he is talking to me. I knew that they would not stop.”

“In the beginning I forgot just to eat, I was so terribly ill,”

Eventually Van Dam is not otherwise more than the whole story to his mother present. “That is pretty much the worst thing a mother can tell. When my mother disappeared immediately the light from the eyes. They believed of course that I had not done. (…) I had – and have – no one is raped. My mother hoped that it would blow. I knew that this would not happen.”

That same evening – on Monday, publishes the newspaper article online, then Van Dam a day later, wake up to a text from his mother. “There was something on Teletext. There it was, that Jelle Brandt Corstius drugged and raped. As truth. No one thought that it might not be true.” The producer delves eventually two and a half months with his mother. “She now has pills for high blood pressure. She has in the hospital, to the coronary intensive care. My mother is literally sick of. (…) In the beginning I forgot just to eat, I was so terribly sick. Then my mother pushed literally eating through my mouth. It was time to go back.”


Two days after the published article appears Brandt Corstius at De wereld Draait door, where he with MATTHIJS VAN NIEUWKERK his story. Van Dam slides in turn to Peacock. “I have my good friend called and said that I had decided to fight. She said: ’it should, because now has also RTL the side of Brandt Corstius chosen.’” That night, at table with JEROEN PAUW, calls the producer “hell on earth”. “That was the scariest thing I had ever done and I was really in very bad condition. But there was a cloud of love over me from friends and colleagues that me just believed.”

When the end of October, Van Dam return at Brandt Corstius, because of libel and slander, get the VPRO presenter a week later to the police to the producer to accuse of rape. On 19 July of this year seponeert TO the two declarations, because there is no evidence for the indictments for rape, and there is no legal case of libel. Van Dam let it not, however, sit down with us and a new criminal complaint for defamation and slander, because Brandt Corstius after the decision of the TO Of the Dam to compare with the cases of Hollywood producer HARVEY WEINSTEIN and the recently convicted comedian BILL COSBY.

“The damage runs in the barrels”

Of the successful media company of Of Dam square is now not much more about. “I was not at all. How I had sponsors for my projects are going to talk? I did the tv images, but RTL said: “We’ll wait a moment wondering what TO think’. So how can I, as a event to produce? I have to every company that I now approach a little explanation. I hired myself as a freelancer for difficult jobs. But I am since this case is never called. (…) Apart from the emotional damage, I’ll never be the old, the my company cost. If you have the money want to express, of tons, perhaps millions, if not more.”

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