Claire van Kampen is one of the 4 main characters of Gooische Vrouwen, and is played by Tjitske Reidinga.
Being one of the three women who made it through all the seasons, Claire van Kampen has lived in 't Gooi for many years now. She was married to Anton van Kampen, who died in a tragic accident. She has a rather complicated relationship with her daughter, Merel. For a living, Claire is a notarial lawyer, whose job mainly concerns around bankrupting client's spouse, which she succesfully fulfills. She has had the reputation of being the ruthless shark of all lawyers.Claire is recognized for her cynical behaviour, her lust for money and her stoic and cold appearance. It has often been clear that Claire pays most attention to what amount of money men have, rather than their behaviour or their looks. In the third season, Claire doesn't mind snatching money that was meant for an orphan charity fund, nor does the close friendship with her oldest friend Willemijn stands in the way of extorting money from her. These actions, and more, confirm her unlimited greed. However, Claire has had a lot of financial troubles throughout the series, which might explain her actions of desperation. Next to financial problems, she has also had a lot of trouble with her family, friends and doesn't seem lucky when it comes to her lovelife. Her stoic behaviour and her reluctance to supress emotions annoyed her daughter Merel massively. In turn, Merel's rudeness didn't make it easy for Claire either. Her (potential) lovers have been, among others, Robert, Max, and Ernst. Her relationship with Ernst was complicated, since he turned out to be a deceitful person. In season 5, Claire starts a relationship with a man she meets at the detox clinic, Dirk Stubbe.
Claire's drinking problem became very serious throughout the fourth season. Anouk tricked her into joining the AA, but Claire left angrily. In season 5, she realizes she is in trouble and she gives into it. Claire deals with her other problems in a very pragmatic and thought-through way, which she is known for by her friends. For judicial advice and serious aid, they often visit Claire, especially Martin and Cheryl.
We get to know Claire van Kampen as a very cold, rather ruthless woman, who especially despises her new neighbours, the Moreros, for being very racial and annoying. She and her husband Anton differ much from each other and don't seem to get along very well. She wants her friends, Willemijn Lodewijckx and Anouk Verschuur, to ignore the Moreros, after an accidental delivery of soil damaged her garden fence. When the Moreros give a welcome party, Claire firmly rejects their invitation. However, Anton is determined to go and gets drunk with Anouk. Anouk suggests they take a dive in the Morero's swimming pool, but, since Willemijn had the idea to turn off the lights, there is no water in the pool...Anton falls to his death on the hard bottom. When Claire sees him lying, she is shocked. At first, Claire blames the Moreros, and continues to act harsh to Cheryl, who tries to socialize. Her daughter, Merel, admits missing her dad incredibly much; at the funeral, Claire doesn't seem to be sad about her husband's death. Claire and Merel drive apart even more. After she conciles with Cheryl, her friends push her to open the bank-safe Anton left her and Merel.However, in the safe, she disgustedly finds nothing but a set of pictures showing Anton having gay sex, and a huge debt. Enraged about his adultery, she vandalizes his grave. She then hires detective Holtrop, to find the man she saw with Anton on the pictures. When she takes a gun and flies to the airport to confront (whom she believes is) her husband's lover, Merel calls Holtrop, who manages to prevent a shooting. Claire, having no money and a huge debt from her husband, explains to dr. Rossi she doesn't know what she's capable of anymore. She asks Willemijn to loan her money, despite her pride, but Willemijn principially doesn't lend out money to friends. Meanwhile, Claire desperately tries to hide the fact she's budgetshopping. Eventually, she puts her house on sale, but Cheryl offers her a cheque to help her. At a pick-up bar with Anouk, Claire meets Max, a young waiter, and they kiss all night. They start a relationship, but soon Claire chooses her old friend Robert Bovenlander, who can satisfy her financially, which Max can't. Meanwhile, Claire freaks out about Merel having a refugee boyfriend, Amir, and insists she breaks up with him. Merel refuses to. When Max explains he found a way to make loads of money, through multiple casino swindles, Claire happily returns to him and lets Robert down. A tragic accident occurs when she walks down the pool of the Morero's, and is knocked down by a baseball bat. She falls down, in the water, unconsciously...
After the attack, Claire is in a coma and things don't seem to improve. At her bed, her friends promise to take care of Merel. Willemijn badly regrets not having lend her money, and Cheryl reveals her secret of having cheated with Tom and being pregnant of him. After Claire wakes up, she can't walk, so she has to do different kinds of balance practices. She is visited by detective Holtrop, and also rejects Merel's calls. We later find out Merel was the one who knocked Claire down with a baseball bat, which Holtrop finds out. Claire doesn't want Merel to be prosecuted for it, but Holtrop says he's obliged to. Merel is put in a youth detention centre. To pay off the debts Claire still has, she tricks Willemijn into believing Merel is at a finishing school in Zutphen, and that she needs 6000 € a month to finance it. Willemijn gives her the money. Meanwhile, Claire has met a man, Ernst, in the revalidation centre, who is paralyzed and is in a wheelchair. When she finds out about his richness, she takes him in, which isn't a problem for Ernst, since he has rather romantic feelings for Claire and isn't reluctant to support her financially. When Anouk and Willemijn head off to visit Merel at the "finishing school", they find out about the youth centre, and Merel's act of violence to Claire. Willemijn is shocked about it, and even more about Claire's deception. She furiously demands the money she gave her, and expresses her doubts about whether they can still be friends. Claire starts to hate herself for what she's done, however, Ernst comforts her by giving her a cheque. They have "sex". Later on, Willemijn and Claire reconcile. Claire then finds out that Merel is released from the youth centre, and she is astonished when she sees her at her door. Not being ready for taking her in again, she drops her off at Anouk's, who promised to take care of her when Claire was in a coma. Claire breaks down and realizes she wants her daughter back, and she and Merel reconcile later on. In the finale episode, she meets Ernst at the hospital, who is starting to heal of his paralysis.
Season 3Claire is now living together with Ernst, who has recovered from his disability, though he walks with a cane. He expresses his need for sexual pleasure, but Claire doesn't think of it as a priority. However, Ernst starts taking viagra pills to satisfy his sexual feelings. Another big problem is a wall between Ernst and Merel, who hates him for his attempts to settle her future, and his dominant attitude in the house. After a lot of fights, Ernst humiliates her by saying her father (Anton) was nothing but a loser and caused her to be a messed up teenager. At this point, Claire is fed up with Ernst and furiously breaks up with him. Ernst still offers her his financial support, through a cheque, but Claire's pride makes her tear up the cheque in pieces. She regrets this after she finds out the cheque is worthless. She, once again, falls into a financial crisis. This eventually leads her to rent out the house. She herself stays in Willemijn's garden shed. Claire's greed and desperation leads her to steal the money from a charity event, sponsored by Cheryl and Martin.She doesn't know Tippi Wan witnesses her doing it... Things grow worse when she has dinner with Evert about an investement fund, which she lied about to Willemijn; who finds out about it, and considers it a romantic dinner. She throws out Claire. Claire desperately goes to Anouk, who lets her stay at her place. This turns out to nothing better, as Claire's perfectionism and dominance at the house drive Anouk crazy. She eventually ends up at the Moreros. Claire is disgusted by her new house-renter, who turns out to be a haught French singer, and a nudist. Nevertheless, Claire ends up having sex with the man. She shockingly realizes she's being blackmailed, and now knows someone saw her taking the money from the charity event. She is eventually forced to leave a large sum of money at an arranged location, which she loans from Evert. At the location, she waits to see who her blackmailer is, and finds out it has been Tippi. They get in a fight, and Tippi flies and threatens her with pictures she has of Claire stealing the charity money. Claire is left behind in the mud. Claire demands the pictures from Tippi, and is forced to trust the sneaky au-pair in her pretentions about not having any copies.
Willemijn's death caused a lot of tears in 't Gooi. Claire has a hard time dealing with the loss, but her pragmatic thinking drags her through the process. She assists Evert emotionally and swings by at the Lodewijckx' house quite often, where she takes care of the household. Her friends blame her for trying to replace Willemijn, and especially Anouk disgusts the way she's lurking at Evert. In turn, Claire is greatly annoyed by Anouk's attempts to let them get over their grief through spirituality, and Cheryl's dumb behaviour. Later on, the girls patch things up and Claire gets a grip on herself when it comes to Evert. However, she still has growing feelings for him. Now Merel has left the house, Claire starts to feel very lonely. When Evert presents his new maid, Svetlana, Claire is disgusted and is convinced the two are having a sexual relationship. At a restaurant, she finds out Ernst just paid her and her girlfriend's lunch. She is rather reluctant to this and thinks he just wants sex. On top of it all, Ernst is engaged now. After buying her a coat and having it delivered at Claire's door, Ernst' behaviour leads to Claire wanting an explanation. At his golfclub, they end up having sex instead. Claire's new doctor, Van Engelen, bluntly offers to correct her childbirth-scars 'tax-free', stating it's unsightly down there. Claire, incredibly insecure, realizes through Ernst that her doctor is just a deceitful swindler. They succeed in framing him. Ernst now moves back in with Claire, and persuades her to cooperate in a highly profitable investment fund. Claire feels reluctant to the legitiminity of it, but when she sees the money it applied, she doesn't care anymore. Though, her suspicions rise and she turns out to be right when she sees her picture in the news paper for being suspected of fraud and prescience. She is now completely discredited, thus deserted by her clients and also refuses a plea-bargain to testify against Ernst, hoping for a dirty profit share. However, in court, she sees Ernst giving his lawyer a kiss, and she immediately decides to testify against him. Now that she is single again, her loneliness takes a toll once again, and she finds comfort in alcoholism. She slowly breaks down, and her feelings for Evert are stronger than ever. After sabotaging his affair with Roelien, and even declaring her love to Evert, Evert rejects her and walks away. Anouk tricks her into an Anonymous Alcoholics-meeting, but Claire is in denial about her alcohol problem. She walks away, being highly offended by Anouk, who is just worried about her.
Claire is not happy when her money has badly depreciated in value. This is all due to the current financial crisis and Evert can't do much about it. Claire is still struggling with alcohol. Drinking solely liquor anywhere, anytime, Anouk continues her attempts to make her realize she has a problem. Claire stays in denial about being addicted. She completely kills Roelien by expressing her negative opinion of Roelien's wedding, after Roelien has asked her to be her wedding's ceremony master. Claire is shocked to meet Merel's new boyfriend Winand; who is black. Completely prejudiced, Claire bursts out to Winand and tries to keep Merel away from him. Though Merel is disgusted by this and her mother's crazy behaviour and alcohol problem. Claire's apologies fail due to her pride, and she is unpleasantly surprised when Merel and Winand show up at Cheryl's garage sale. Merel taunts her mother for being a racist in public. Claire ambushes Winand and says she is willing to bribe him in order to get him out of Merel's life. Claire and Merel come to blows and Merel walks away for good; after telling she is pregnant. Claire is depressed and sleeps off her debauch at Cheryl's, but is forced to babysit Remy as Cheryl suddenly has to leave. Bathing Remy, she walks away to continue sleeping and leaves Remy alone in the bath. We hear the child slip in the bath...Luckily, Remy was saved in time by Cheryl, as is implied the next episode. Claire makes an attempt to apologize to both Cheryl and Martin, unsuccesfully; both are filled with anger. Claire herself seems to find their reactions understanding but also exeggerated. She continues drinking and is found by Anouk at a bar. When she walks away in an attempts to get in her car, Anouk desperately tries to stop her, but is slapped in the face by Claire instead. Claire climbs in her car, badly drunk, and Anouk sends Tom to prevent Claire from driving the car. As a final attempt to save Claire, Yari suggests an intervention by dr. Rossi. The whole gang gets together at Anouk's, including Merel, and when Claire comes in, they give her one last chance to do something about her addiction. Claire says she will never give into emotional blackmailing and walks away. However, at home she turns out to be torn. She then sets aside al of her pride and asks Anouk to bring her to a recovery clinic. At the clinic she loathes the therapy sessions and struggles with living without alcohol. She meets a suicidal girl, Lisa, and a fishmonger, Dirk Stubbe. In a desperate attempts to break out, her plan falls apart when Lisa gives the show away. Claire continues to be a closed door at the council meetings, especially when her coach tries to get to know about her daughter. When Lisa is trying to drown herself in the fountain, Claire saves her. Having Dirk over, Claire makes out with him. The next day, Claire turns away from Dirk and says them having sex was just a spur of the moment. At the group sessions, Dirk emotionally opens up to everyone about his childhood regrets. Claire is not enthusiastic when her coach wants her to have a meeting with her mother. We learn Claire was abandoned at the age of 5 when her mother chose for a fashion career instead of being a mother. Claire is not pleased when she finds out Anouk gave free her mother's phone number to the clinic. When Claire meets with her mother, in front of her coach, her mother act haughty and arrogant. Instead of giving Claire an album of baby-pictures, she hands over her own modelling portfolio. Claire loathes herself for acting like an icequeen towards the others, and an attempt to reconcile with Dirk fails, as he has no faith left in her. She is comforted by Lisa, after having an emotional breakdown. Hendrik is sort of sick of Claire's attitude, and forces the group to give her "the silent treatment": give her the cold shoulder completely. Claire thinks it is rather pathetic of Hendrik, but feels pretty lonely when Dirk, Lisa and Karen walk away after Claire joins their table at lunch. Realizing this is what she deserves, she starts opening up more and comes clean about an emotional experience when she was a child. The group is touched, and Dirk is happy. Though confronting her, Claire said she made up her whole story; just wanting to found well enough to get away from the clinic. Dirk is disappointed once again. Later, they reconcile. Then, Lisa is released from the clinic and waves Claire and Dirk goodbye. In the hallway, Claire and Dirk passionately kiss, only to be caught by Hendrik, who wants to talk to Claire. He thinks Claire is ready to leave the clinic, as she opened up and admitted her problem. Moreover, there is nothing left for her to be helped with anymore. Claire has mixed feelings. The next episode, she is reunited with Roelien, Anouk and Cheryl. She then spies on Dirk, incognito, as Dirk is back at his fish trade. However, Dirk discovers her and the two get back together. Dirk now comes over and they spend in bed most of time. Though Claire tries to keep the relationship a secret to her friends, Anouk soon suspects her and is curious. Before Yari's fashion show, Claire tells her about Dirk, and how she is very skeptical, as he is a fishmonger. When Dirk unexpectedly joins her at the fashion show, meeting Anouk, Claire is not pleased and wants him to leave the place. However, when Claire is one of the catwalk models, Dirk is sitting in the crowd, looking proudly at her. In the final episode, Claire and Dirk are having rough sex and Dirk believes Claire uses him as her "bulldozer", who makes her forget about her misery. Dirk wants to meet her daughter; thus wants Claire to patch things up with Merel. But Claire yells at him for not meddling in her private-life. Both question their relationship and Dirk is kicked out. Soon, Dirk demands Merel's phone-number, which Claire reluctantly gives free. One day, Dirk comes over and shocks Claire by telling her Merel is at the hospital. They rush to the hospital, where Merel is lying, having had pregnancy poisoning. Though she's all right. Claire and Merel have a talk and they make up, after Claire apologizes to Winand. Dirk meets the couple. Meanwhile, Claire is sorting out the Morero's bankrupcy, but explains to them there is nothing to do about. She is the one who presents the idea of selling their house. At the end of the episode, Merel has had her baby. Claire's final moment of the show, is holding her grandson in her arms, finally being happy with both Dirk and Merel in her life.
Acquintances of Claire
Partners & sex-partners
- Anton van Kampen: spouse (before season 1- season 1)
- Ernst van Scheepmaker-Altena: boyfriend (season 2, 3, 4)
- Dirk Stubbe: boyfriend (season 5)
- Max: boyfriend/lover (season 1)
- Jean-Louis Sarly: one-time lover (season 3)
- Evert Lodewijckx: desired lover*
Criminality & immorality
- "Attempted" negligent manslaughter: left little Remy Morero alone in bathtub, almost causing him to drown (ep 5.02)
- Alcoholic addiction (season 4, 5)
- Violence: hitting Anouk Verschuur in the face (ep 5.03)
- Attempted drink-driving (ep 5.03)
- Public intoxication (ep 5.03)
- Racism: prejudicial hatred towards Merel's boyfriend Amir, who was an Iranian refugee (season 1) and Winand, black man (season 5)
- Theft': stole large sum of charity money (ep 3.03)
- Shoplifting': shoplifted a dress (ep 3.06)
- Conspiracy: Max (season 1); Ernst Scheepmaker-van Altena, though unknowingly (season 4)
- Fraud: casino swindle (season 1)
- Obstruction of justice: lying in court to get Ernst Scheepmaker-van Altena convicted
- Extortion: Willemijn Lodewijckx (season 2)
- Gun possession (season 1)
Profession & skills
- Expert lawyer: divorce attorney, notary i.a. (often referred to as "the shark" among divorce lawyers)
Cor Hogenberk ·
Ed Rossi ·
Tippi Wan ·
Ernst Scheepmaker-van Altena ·
Barry Snijders ·