A Recent Timeline of the Min Hee-jin vs. HYBE Beef

A Recent Timeline of the Min Hee-jin vs. HYBE Beef

key highlights:

- HYBE wants Min Hee Jin to resign; She's accused of wanting to break away from HYBE and spreading rumors about artists from other HYBE labels.

- Min Hee Jin gave an interview to a media outlet to explain the reasons behind her open war against HYBE.

- Dispatch reveals information about the dispute between Min Hee Jin and HYBE

- ADOR and Min Hee Jin have issued a lengthy statement against HYBE and Bang Si Hyuk to express their position.

- The parents of NewJeans members were reportedly the first to complain to ADOR that ILLIT had copied the group.

- Hybe Files Complaint Against Ador CEO Min Hee-jin Amid Allegations and Counterclaims

- ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin criticizes HYBE in a long press conference.

- HYBE responded to many points raised by Min Hee Jin.

- Min Hee Jin might have asked to cancel the contracts of the NewJeans members.

- Min Hee Jin and ADOR hit back.

- Min Hee Jin is saying that HYBE harassed one of ADOR’s employees until she got home at 10 PM.

- The parents of the NewJeans members are upset with Bang Si Hyuk and HYBE.

- HYBE has publicly responded to the email from the parents of NewJeans members, which was revealed earlier today by Ilgan Sports.

HYBE wants Min Hee Jin to resign; She's accused of wanting to break away from HYBE and spreading rumors about artists from other HYBE labels.
source: mtn

HYBE wants Min Hee Jin to resign; She's accused of wanting to break away from HYBE and spreading rumors about artists from other HYBE labels.

Min Hee Jin is in trouble.

A lot changed at HYBE on April 22nd... It was announced that HYBE has launched an audit of ADOR, the HYBE label where Min Hee Jin is the CEO. ADOR is the label that includes NewJeans.

The media reports that HYBE would have learned about Min Hee Jin's desires to split from HYBE. According to information from various sources, several things are being blamed on Min Hee Jin.

Min Hee Jin reportedly tried to find ways to force HYBE to sell their shares in ADOR (which represent 80% of the shares), so she could split from HYBE and make ADOR an independent agency without HYBE. That's not all, as she allegedly contacted the parents of NewJeans members to ask them to be on her side and help make ADOR and NewJeans leave HYBE.

According to internal sources, Min Hee Jin may have abused power over some of her employees.

It's also said that she used a HYBE employee to obtain confidential information about HYBE and artists from different labels, to leak information, and spread rumors about artists from other HYBE labels. HYBE has requested an audit and has also asked Min Hee Jin to submit her resignation.

Min Hee Jin gave an interview to a media outlet to explain the reasons behind her open war against HYBE.

The CEO of ADOR explains that her fight mainly stems from the allegation that HYBE orchestrated a plagiarism of NewJeans to give ILLIT the same concept. According to her, it's not just BELIFT LAB that chose to plagiarize NewJeans, but HYBE orchestrated it.

Min Hee Jin gave an interview to a media outlet to explain the reasons behind her open war against HYBE.
Source: hankyung

Min Hee Jin gave an interview to a media outlet to explain the reasons behind her open war against HYBE.
Source: hankyung

Min Hee Jin stated:

"ILLIT plagiarizes NewJeans, and it's not something BELIFT LAB did on their own, but it's HYBE who did it. HYBE, claiming to be the leader of K-POP, has been blinded by profit, and they now allow themselves to copy successful cultural content without any hesitation. ADOR has never allowed anyone to copy NewJeans' results."

According to Min Hee Jin, ADOR has repeatedly sent letters to BELIFT LAB in recent weeks asking them to stop copying NewJeans with ILLIT, but these letters have gone unanswered.

Dispatch reveals information about the dispute between Min Hee Jin and HYBE
Source: Dispatch

Dispatch reveals information about the dispute between Min Hee Jin and HYBE

Dispatch has released a file containing information about the dispute between Min Hee Jin and HYBE.

On the morning of April 22nd, HYBE requested an audit of ADOR and asked for Min Hee Jin's resignation. The CEO of ADOR is accused of wanting to force HYBE to sell back its shares to separate ADOR from HYBE, but also of obtaining confidential information about artists from other HYBE labels to spread rumors about them.

Following this, Min Hee Jin gave an interview to a media outlet to explain the reasons for her open war against HYBE, stating that ILLIT would have plagiarized NewJeans and that HYBE would be blinded by money.

At the same time, Dispatch revealed a file in which it can be read:

"According to internal sources, CEO Min Hee Jin has been seeking to make ADOR an independent agency for a long time. She secretly approached people and was looking for a way to buy back HYBE's shares in ADOR.

Internal sources say she illegally obtained internal information belonging to HYBE. She even used a HYBE employee to steal this confidential information.

It appears that HYBE has already obtained numerous pieces of evidence against Min Hee Jin's actions. They have also found evidence that she abused employees."

Source: hankyung

ADOR and Min Hee Jin have issued a lengthy statement against HYBE and Bang Si Hyuk to express their position.

ADOR stated:

Hey there. This is ADOR (and CEO Min Hee Jin).

ADOR is talking openly about the copying incident by ILLIT of NewJeans to protect our artist NewJeans and for the healthy development of the music and culture industry in Korea.

HYBE runs a multi-label system where different labels create their music independently, promoting cultural diversity. ADOR is one of these labels. Ironically, ADOR's cultural achievements and our artist NewJeans are most severely violated by HYBE.

BELIFT LAB, one of HYBE's labels, launched the five-member girl group ILLIT in March of this year. After the release of ILLIT's teaser photos, explosive reactions online said, "I thought it was NewJeans." ILLIT copies NewJeans in all aspects of entertainment activities, including hairstyle, makeup, clothing, choreography, photos, videos, and appearances at events. ILLIT is evaluated as "Min Hee Jin style," "Min Hee Jin type," and "a copy of NewJeans." It's a truly shameful situation.

HYBE President Bang Si Hyuk produced ILLIT's first album. The copying of NewJeans by ILLIT was not done independently by BELIFT LAB but also involves HYBE. 

HYBE, a leading company in the K-pop industry, is blinded by short-term profits and mass-produces lack of originality by unabashedly copying successful cultural content.

NewJeans is currently preparing for their comeback in May. However, ILLIT caused NewJeans to appear when they weren't promoting at the moment. 

The appearance of an imitation tarnished NewJeans' image and caused worry and fatigue among fans and the public due to unnecessary involvement in disputes. The main culprits who created this situation are HYBE and BELIFT LAB, but the damage caused by it rests entirely on ADOR and NewJeans.

There are reactions suggesting it's understandable for ILLIT to be similar to NewJeans because they are both under the HYBE label. Some even think ADOR and NewJeans allowed or consented to this similarity. But these reactions are clearly a misunderstanding, and we want to clarify it. A multi-label system allows each label to independently create the music they want, not a system allowing other labels to copy another label's cultural achievements just because they are affiliated labels.

And ADOR has never authorized or consented to anyone, including HYBE and BELIFT LAB, to copy NewJeans' achievements. ADOR does not wish in any way for NewJeans and ILLIT to be associated. We do not intend to tolerate promotions such as groups being sibling groups simply because they debuted under HYBE labels.

ADOR has already officially raised the issue of the copying incident and a series of behaviors by HYBE against NewJeans with HYBE and BELIFT LAB. However, HYBE and BELIFT LAB have not acknowledged their wrongdoing and have dealt with finding excuses, thus delaying concrete responses. Amidst this, HYBE suddenly announced (On April 22, 2024) that it would suspend and remove CEO Min Hee Jin from her position, stating there were "concerns that CEO Min Hee Jin might significantly harm ADOR's company value."

At the same time, they manipulate the media with ridiculous articles, such as CEO Min Hee Jin "allegedly trying to seize management rights." It's incomprehensible that a legitimate complaint aiming to protect our artist NewJeans' cultural achievements could harm ADOR's interests or constitute an act of taking over ADOR.

It seems that HYBE and BELIFT LAB, as well as President Bang Si Hyuk, think simply ousting CEO Min Hee Jin from the company will end this issue without offering apologies or appropriate measures. However, ADOR will use all possible means and methods to protect the cultural achievements NewJeans has worked for and prevent any further violations due to copying. We want to emphasize that we cannot tolerate continued copying and various unfair actions against ADOR and NewJeans.

HYBE and BELIFT LAB might try to downplay the debut incident by highlighting the differences between NewJeans and ILLIT as ILLIT's activities increase. Misunderstandings from fans and the public may also increase over time. As a result, ADOR has decided to announce an official stance after sufficient discussions with NewJeans members and legal representatives.

Through this statement, we hope that HYBE and BELIFT LAB will face their wrongful acts and contribute to the Korean music industry and culture through fervent contemplation and creation while respecting the cultural achievements of others.

Thank you.

Source: topstarnews

The parents of NewJeans members were reportedly the first to complain to ADOR that ILLIT had copied the group.

On April 24, the media reported additional information from internal sources.

According to the reports, it was the parents of NewJeans members who first complained to ADOR about possible similarities between ILLIT's concept and that of NewJeans.

From the gathered information, the parents asked ADOR to contact HYBE and resolve the issue. ADOR then sent an official request for correction to HYBE on April 3.

Following this, HYBE requested to meet with the parents of NewJeans members for a discussion. However, the NewJeans parents felt that HYBE's response was insincere, and they declined the meeting with HYBE.

Hybe Files Complaint Against Ador CEO Min Hee-jin Amid Allegations and Counterclaims

On April 25th, Hybe confirmed that it filed a complaint against top officials of its sub-label Ador, including CEO Min Hee-jin, with accusations of breach of trust and other offenses. This action comes amidst conflict between the two parties as Min and others allegedly tried to take control of the company.

On the other hand, Min Hee Jin expressed discontent with the timing chosen by HYBE to launch its audit and to make headlines in the media. The CEO continued to refute all of HYBE's claims and questioned the label's intentions.

"I am surprised by HYBE's actions at such a crucial time for NewJeans. It only took four days for all of this to happen after my complaint. I also wonder if it has ever happened before that a company publishes articles during an audit before it even yields results. Why was it necessary to publish these false articles that had nothing to do with what I was complaining about?" she added.

ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin criticizes HYBE in a long press conference.

Min Hee-jin's press conference took place after HYBE announced finding "solid evidence" that Min had attempted to conspire against HYBE. Here's what she said to the journalists.

"I've been involved in many rumors, coinciding with NewJeans' comeback," Min stated. "I... (sighs) I wanted to tell my story after the release of NewJeans' new music. I didn't expect the audit at all. It started so suddenly on Monday. HYBE is moving forward with a stronger PR strategy than with its own artists. I've become a witch. My first priority is to clear my name, and the second is to reveal the truth about what happened today because the ways in which HYBE and I perceive the situation are very different."

"It's difficult for me to speak at a press conference, even in a pleasant environment," Min continues. "But seeing the photojournalists, I feel like you're not treating me like a person. I keep thinking, 'Do they want me gone? Will people be happy if I'm not around anymore?' I don't check the comments because it would affect me a lot. I think no one has ever been subjected to so many press releases in such a short time. I believe I am innocent, but I wanted to focus on NewJeans."

Regarding her KakaoTalk conversation, "I didn't expect such attention to be focused on me. I didn't expect them to monitor my KakaoTalk discussions and want to get rid of me. I'm eager to speak out, so it would be strange for me not to. They hit me with a 'seizure of leadership,' but I simply cannot agree. I know you think I'm a bad person. But HYBE CEO Park Ji-won, who was once so close to me until recently, and all those attacking me right now, make me wonder, 'What triggered all this?'"

Min details her own actions. "I made an internal report, which I hoped would be officially addressed by the company. So many things stemmed from it, so there are stories I wanted to tell. I've been living a hell for two days. Ironically, I realized I had a lot of friends. It allowed me to reflect on my life, but going back to the beginning, it should never have become such a serious thing."

"The things I comfortably talked about with Park Ji-won made me 'the old cranky lady.' The things I said with my vice CEO are just things we discussed in privacy. Yes, some things crossed the line, but it's because the conversations were out of context. If I framed you in a certain way and edited your own conversations, it would be so easy to make a new story out of it."

"But even when NewJeans told me they loved me and thanked me like their parents, I never agreed with people who suspected me or thought I loved NewJeans like a fan. I've never liked idol culture. My goal has always been to carry out my work cleanly and confidently. That was my goal, and it was difficult for me to talk about things that interfered with my work. I simply cannot agree with HYBE saying I did all this because of money. Everything HYBE says is a lie. I never said that BTS copied me."

Min addresses HYBE directly. "They said I said something 'in the sense of' BTS copying me, which contributed to building a certain image against me," referring to recent claims that she imitated the work of previous K-pop groups for NewJeans. "This comes from people believing I don't deserve NewJeans and that I was trying to take over HYBE. But I really want to ask, how can they do this to me? Why would they make this very strange person? I almost collapsed coming here. I know this might be my last chance to speak out like this. I joined Big Hit Entertainment as a brand director, not Source Music. I never tried to take over ADOR. As an employee, you complain about your job and your boss."

Min denies HYBE's claims that she attempted to take over ADOR. "I have no idea where 'usurper' comes from. We simply said these things and said, 'HYBE holds 80% of the company.' You need to know all the stories to understand all of this."

"It's not me who turned my back on HYBE, it's HYBE who betrayed me. They used me to the fullest and now want to bring me down because I don't listen to them. No one has done what I have done for 30 years in K-pop, but HYBE is trying to finish off someone who has done what I have done as the head of a subsidiary. When I left SM Entertainment, it was also followed by speculation that I had turned my back on them. I'm a strange person. I left SM Entertainment because SM founder Lee Soo-man thought I was smart, but I worked hard."

Min continues discussing her experience at SM Entertainment. "I tried to expand my work, and I didn't give up even though it was difficult. But his work and mindset changed over time, and I was disappointed. But I always told him, 'I'll tell you this because I consider you like 'My father.' In the end, I told him I would leave because I wanted to do something new, and SM Entertainment wasn't the place where I could achieve it. He asked me if I wanted to take some time off and then lead a new label or a position at SM Entertainment. But I never wanted a leadership position. That wasn't my goal. They didn't let me leave for three months."

"I was tired of the K-pop industry. But that was because I was good at my job, rather than because I loved it. I endured because of the achievements I had made. But just two days later, I received a call from a recruiter. They told me that 'someone' wanted to see me but didn't tell me who HYBE founder Bang Si-hyuk was. I don't want to speak ill of them; I don't want to talk nonsense; I'm just saying what I experienced."

"Can we see the data, please?" Min asks, then she turns on the screen behind her revealing screenshots. "Bang Si-hyuk told me that 'I became a successful fan'," she continues, referring to the period before accepting her role at HYBE. "'I will treat you better than a board member.' He told me I wanted to realize my creative potential; I was grateful, and I told him I wouldn't let him down. He told me to build the 'world of Min Hee-jin.' I thought we could create synergy together."

"At first, what I wanted to do was create a HYBE brand, transform Big Hit Entertainment into a holding company. I also took charge of creating a girl group because he said he wasn't sure if he could create a girl group. I agreed because I knew it would take a lot of work. He promised me full support, but there was no label called ADOR."

"This was before HYBE bought Source Music. Bang Si-hyuk was the president of HYBE. What he suggested was that BigHit has more fans because of BTS. 'We need to create a new girl group label, so let's buy Source Music. They have trainees, so why not use them to launch a new girl group?' At first, I said no, but I wanted to cooperate because I had just joined the new company."

"I am the kind of person who needs to start over, but I thought I would bend to his will," Min says. "I know it would have been better for me to spend my own money and create a label. The reason I joined the company was that it had a fixed system. Family, employees, it was easier for me to pay them. But if you start a new business, you inevitably become poor. But I wanted to realize my potential. It wasn't about making money; it would have been so hard for me as a woman. I've seen a lot of dirty things. So I thought, 'Let's just join a company and get paid.' I always felt alone. We didn't agree. Bang Si-hyuk wanted to analyze Billie Eilish, but I wasn't sure. And then the pandemic came. It became so difficult for GFriend. The group's breakup had nothing to do with me. Let me just point that out."

Min continues to discuss Source Music, the HYBE subsidiary behind the girl group Le Sserafim. "I never went to Source Music. I don't make friends at work. I don't attend company outings. So even if they had trainees at Source Music, there was no one else but Minji that I could recruit."

"Source Music wasn't a company with a good brand, and HYBE didn't even have a brand at the time," Min continues. "So what HYBE told me was, 'Min Hee-jin's girl group, let's intrigue people with that.' And what would a BTS agency girl group look like? HYBE said people would become curious. I started an audition from there; I had to put a brand on everything because there was no other group to compare. Hanni was the first person we chose with the new branding idea."

Min details the formation of the girl group ADOR NewJeans. "There were a lot of candidates, but not many we could recruit. The other three trainees were chosen after we started another round under the motto 'BTS's girl group.' Danielle, Haerin, and then Hyein joined us. I had control because I was in charge of creative work. There were other trainees besides NewJeans members, but I succeeded because I thought they would fit."

"Bang Si-hyuk and I began to think differently," Min recalls. "Bang Si-hyuk said he didn't know what to say, but I had a clear vision of what I wanted to do. Bang Si-hyuk didn't really like that. There were differences, but the moment when it all collapsed was... HYBE really needs to rethink its actions. How could you treat me like this?' What annoys me the most is in June or July 2021, shortly after Park Ji-won joined a young company from a gaming company, he wanted to get close to me, so we became friends; we're the same age too. Ji-won and Sung-jin said the first HYBE girl group should be a new Source Music girl group with Sakura and Kim Chaewon. I cursed them, saying, 'Are you crazy?' The trainees all came to see me because it would be a Min Hee-jin girl group, not a Source Music girl group. I never knew they were recruiting Sakura and Kim Chae-won, but then they said they were debuting this group first. I first said I was going to resign and hold a press conference. Park Ji-won asked me what he could do to remedy the situation."

Min continues to discuss tensions around the debut of the Source Music girl group Le Sserafim. "There is a time for everything, and you never explained all this to the members and their parents. They never apologized to the parents. The parents were so angry. They blamed Source Music because they were afraid NewJeans couldn't debut because of the Source Music girl group. I didn't want to turn my back on the trainees because I wouldn't abandon them. "

"I told them I would accept these girls because I wanted to help them debut. I didn't steal them," Min continues. "I thought creating ADOR would be for the good of the girls and the shareholders. But Bang Si-hyuk said he wouldn't let me do it unless the company owned 100 %. But that was my brand and creation. But I don't understand why Park Ji-won tried to bridge the gap between me and Bang Si-hyuk."

"The fight would have taken months, so I just said okay after three months. I said I felt like I was giving birth, and I really am. It would have been disgusting for me to say all this to the kids, but I said it to the parents because they were angry at HYBE too. We had so much to say to HYBE. Then Park Ji-won came to us and told us not to promote NewJeans before Le Sserafim's debut because they wanted people to think Le Sserafim was Min Hee-jin's girl group."

source: Korea joongang daily.

"It made no sense, but everything had started so I had no choice but to say yes and prove it the way I could," Min continues, crying. "Bang Si-hyuk asked me, 'Can you crush aespa in December, right? But that was never my goal." Min stands up. "I thought he was a really generous person, but I found he was different on the outside than on the inside. I know I sound weird to him. He suddenly asked me after NewJeans' 'Ditto' release, 'Are you happy? Why are you laughing? I want to know.' Why wouldn't I be happy? Doesn't the conversation sound really weird? Our relationship had changed."

"The reason we split society is because they broke the promise and launched Sakura first." I joined "You Quiz [On The Block]" because that's what I wanted to say.

Min keeps showing text messages displayed behind her. "That doesn't make sense. It's like you're telling us you're going to meddle in our affairs and want to see us do it all ourselves. They didn't expect anything from us, and that's how I created NewJeans. It's like the step-sisters are harassing me, but I'll win."

"Park Ji-won told me I shouldn't say NewJeans is a completely new team because they wanted to confuse people," Min continues. "Isn't that a real lack of trust, trying to diminish the value of a subsidiary? They never let me promote NewJeans as Min Hee-jin's first female group because they intentionally wanted to confuse people. That's all Bang Si-hyuk did."

Min continues to detail her experiences with HYBE's management. "Someone, probably Bang Si-hyuk, told Park Ji-won to say everything he did. He's just doing his best as a paid employee. Park said 'Let's just release the announcement.' I asked him if he wanted me to lie. He asked me to 'leave him some room.' Then he kept asking me to 'match' the press release from Le Sserafim. He replied: 'I'm just asking you as a person. Just tell him, Bang Si-hyuk, that I'm going ahead with my plan because I'm a crazy b***h. He asked me not to promote NewJeans. Is that really what should have happened? They went against common sense every day."

"I told them: 'You're weird people. Do I owe you something? I'll do what I have to,'" Min continues, crying. "When the investor relations team referred to me as the 'best creator' in a note, they told the team to get rid of 'best.' That changed from the moment they hired me. I didn't want to lie, but he kept telling me it was his job to 'guide' me. But now, I want to ask why they want to kick me out. When did I ever 'ask' BTS to do their mandatory service?

Min revisits recent allegations that she had been influenced by a shaman. "I asked [the shaman] because I was so curious. How were we going to plan our moves if the company's elite team was going to or not going to mandatory service? I'm going to report HYBE for privacy violations. They censor my messages. She's my friend. Can't I have a shaman friend?"

Min keeps talking about her shaman friend. "I had to undergo therapy because of HYBE," she said. "But if someone there was listening to me, that's why I went to see her. Don't you go sometimes? Don't you see how things were done? I'm sure they're launching these attacks because they're worse in that way."

"I asked Park Ji-won if they weren't ashamed of all this? Park Ji-won replied: 'Revenge comes after success.' That means he agreed that what they were doing was wrong. Bang Si-hyuk, aren't you ashamed of yourself if I had to cut this part of the conversation, then Park Ji-won would be the one trying to take control?" I told the parents that I was doing all this because NewJeans is really like my baby. They call me and cry at night to tell me they're really sorry for me."

Min, crying, scrolls through more messages on the screen. "A member's mother called me and said I had to tell my story because I was being witch-hunted. They knew HYBE was trying to make me the witch and Source Music the victim. I wouldn't have filed an internal report. If it was about money, I can earn 100 billion won without doing anything, I'm doing this because I have to speak out. That's why I'm going through all this. Would a mother say that? Why can't I be protected? Why do I have to be used by Park Ji-won, by Bang Si-hyuk? Everyone who worked with me knows how I work. To you, do I look like such a person?"

"We have two vice-CEOs, and one of them is really cheerful," says Min, shaking her head. "They're just taking notes. That's what they wrote, because they knew I was suffering because of HYBE. I have a strange shareholder contract with HYBE. I can't reveal the details. But..."

"Since the beginning of this year, we've been working on the details because there are excessive clauses in the contract." [...] That's what's weird. I can't say what I'm suffering from," Min continues. "The contradiction in the contract is that the 5 %, the 20 % I had, and the 2% I gave to the staff, I can't sell them. It's like a slavery contract. I have to be tied to HYBE forever."

"I'm an entrepreneur, but I studied art, so I don't know much about contract terms. It's confusing. So, a friend in venture capital, who I know, I asked them about the 5 percent, and that's how I got in touch with lawyers Kim and Shin. Then HYBE turned it into 'consulting with an external consultant.' But what did I discuss with an investor? I could never leave HYBE; if things went south, they could cut me off entirely. See how they copied ILLIT. But that's just my personal thought, and I trusted them and signed the contract. That's how I ended up in this mess."

"We were just joking when we mentioned the Saudi fund. Would that even be possible? Sorry, that's just how I am. They twist conversations because it's so absurd. For me, it's a matter of honor. They know it. I care about honor, and they used it against me when I created NewJeans, and I can't abandon them. You really need to rethink your actions if you look at it. You Park acted like you were my friend, then you went to Bang Si-hyuk. He asked me to trust him."

"I didn't stay silent because I'm dumb," says Min. "It's like Solomon's baby. I'm the mother. Does HYBE really care about NewJeans? NewJeans is about to release something tomorrow, and they're doing this? They're playing the shaman frame because they didn't find any dirt on the company credit card. The only thing I bought was dinner because I worked late at night."

"It's so humbling. Do you see them posting the press release just before the press conference? There are so many jerks in this industry. I need to vent. Are you feeling depressed now, Park Ji-won? I've been depressed for 10 years now."

Min revisits the subject of Park Ji-won from HYBE, displaying text exchanges with the executive. "Park Ji-won agreed that Bang Si-hyuk intimidated me. It all depends on him. He tried to exploit me. I listened to Park Ji-won because I respected him. But if they had captured that conversation, then it would have been used against me too. I've become a psychopath these past three days."

"Why can't I say what I want? Why didn't they just come to me to ask all this?" Min laments. "They hated me and wanted to be done with me for writing the internal report."

The salaries of HYBE executives are increasing. "They keep quiet to impress their bosses," Min explains. "They said they gave me 5 billion won, but I only received 2 billion. Park Ji-won received 1 billion won despite the deficit in his company. Why does he get more? I did all this in this barren land. Does HYBE really treat me well? I said I couldn't trust them after what they did to NewJeans despite their success. How can I trust them?"

Min revisits HYBE's legal allegations against her. "If you're trying to destroy a well-performing subsidiary, that's a breach of trust. It goes against shareholder rights."

"I tried to say things nicely," says Min. "I told them not to bother my vice presidents. I never pass on a fight to others. I fight for them. I've been offered so many positions, even during my time here. I got calls from investors on the second and third day of all this, even though I thought my reputation had been ruined."

"I'm just saying I got investment calls," Min continues. "It's a crazy world where everyone does everything for money. I did all this, and 16 billion won? Min's lawyer interrupts her. "I know I can misunderstand them in some way, but after two or three years, suspicions became real," Min continues after a measured pause.

"I'm really bad with my words," says Min. "But I have so much inside me. I felt so sad because of the journalists. They wanted to paint such a bad picture of me. Is this what celebrities feel? How can they treat me like this?"

"I wanted HYBE to straighten up," Min replies. "But I'll see how things go and I'll release it later. It was me saying, 'If you have something to say, then come fight me fair and square.'"

"There are things we can't disclose at the moment," Min's lawyer adds. "But we wanted to make an internal change, so we only informed the executives. But for now, it's difficult to reveal anything."

"Why do we need to be damaged because of HYBE? I want to sue HYBE. They told me to return my laptop yesterday, then disclosed a different date from the others. These are Kim & Chang lawyers. I'm just a regular person from art school. How can I tell my story? Only HYBE's stories are being published. But I'm very grateful to everyone who has helped me throughout my journey, including journalists. How can they treat me like this after all I've done? The only thing I can appeal to is sincerity."

"I wish this PR culture would change. Please, I wish journalists would listen to the stories of the smaller ones. Please, write the stories of the smaller ones. It's so unfair, and I didn't even know how to play the game. Keep an eye on whether they're promoting NewJeans as they're doing now."

"[...] Our relationship soured because of Le Sserafim. I'm sorry, but we never met again after that."

"I'm not disparaging anyone, but it's about governing," says Min. "There's a shared function within the central system, like HR [human resources] and IT [information technology]. Labels might differ somewhat in their ideas, but HYBE always wants to control the labels and make things easier. Each label should keep its uniqueness, like with ILLIT. I'm not talking about them. They're innocent kids, it's the adults who sinned. They just copied all the formulas we had with NewJeans. ADOR will compare. They should have never gone for a multi-label system and should have just done what SM and YG do. When someone copies someone and does it well, it brings everyone down. It hurts shareholder value. I don't care about being cursed, but I feel relieved to be able to speak about everything today. Everything needs to change."

"The reason we don't have photo cards but do random gifts – If you have pictures of every celebrity, it becomes a dictionary," Min continues. "The price of albums doesn't go up, but production costs increase. If we don't do random gifts, people compare each member's popularity. That's why we don't do it. I don't like random gifts either. I wanted to compete fairly with content. I do micromanagement because it's taking responsibility. I wish other companies would stop doing this. If you do this, it also disrupts the stock market. But I think to only keep it when members want it. But what pisses me off with HYBE is that it goes against ethics, and they don't even respect consumers."

"I know I sound crazy, but I'm not acting elegantly. I'm soft on the inside, that's why I

I'm saying all this. There's no one like me in this industry. Only people who make money get more money. But I wish people with some ideology ran the industry, not just people who are crazy about making money."

"NewJeans and I have something more than you could imagine. They always tell me they're thankful and love me. Hanni told me she would come to me. Haerin is usually like a cat and doesn't talk much, but she called me and said she couldn't find the words to send me a message. She said she just wanted to hear my voice. Haerin cried for a full 20 minutes." Min breaks down in tears. "She told me she was so thankful to me because I helped her through tough times. She said she wanted to tell everyone what had happened. The members' mothers are so worried that I'll kill myself. But why would I do that? I'll say everything I have in my heart. Do you know what Park Ji-won told the mothers? He said he wouldn't talk to them, just to ADOR. And they say they care about NewJeans? I don't care if they sue me for defamation."

"It's hard for us to continue together, but I'm not interested in taking control. HYBE did all this. It's not my effort to take NewJeans," ADOR's CEO responds. "How can they do this to me with the New Jeans concert at the Tokyo Dome approaching? We have a plan until the end of the year, and HYBE acts like it doesn't care because NewJeans has nothing planned without me, and it acts like it doesn't care."

Min is asked if she's considering breaking her contract with HYBE. "No, not at all," she says. "How could you even ask me that? The reason I spoke out today is because NewJeans' content is coming out tomorrow. I knew if I didn't say anything today, people would talk badly about it tomorrow."

"Bang Si-hyuk shouldn't meddle with the agencies," Min states. "Not that he's incapable – [HYBE labels] BigHit Music, Pledis Entertainment, and Source Music are produced by Bang Si-hyuk. If a president gets involved, then people fear you. Other labels do weird things. Things look fine. It's just human nature. The only way to avoid that is for the person at the top to stay away. If they get involved, you naturally end up talking about who's the favorite and who's not. Are you kidding me? You need to stop making albums to be environmental. Governance needs a proper roadmap. An owner should have prevented a mimic from emerging, not encouraged it. All I can think is that they're trying to destroy NewJeans. They're making our stuff look old. Why would they do that in the same team? It's not even about respecting creative rights. Why would you copy it? NewJeans' and Belift Lab's posters are exactly the same. The pictorial hanbok never existed before us, so ILLIT just copied it exactly. You can't distinguish them. These intentions are so impure. We debuted with the Chanel event. HYBE never received that announcement for us. NewJeans' advertisers came to us; they were never given to us by HYBE. I want to apologize for worrying them. Anyway, we debuted with Chanel, but that wasn't our intention. It happened just before a TV show, and I thought it could be new. Then ILLIT did it with Acne. They just took the formula. Isn't that purely intentional? Why did you use our choreography? I asked them, and they didn't reply to us. Our choreographers are so annoyed. It would be a mistake on our part not to say anything. They're also ruining ILLIT."

They're asking Min if she's quitting. "I don't know," says the CEO of ADOR. "Do you want to stay at HYBE?" the question continues. "All I care about is NewJeans," she says. "I don't plan to take over the company. I don't even care if someone else owns it. All I ask is that they leave us alone."

"Wasn't your talk about 'taking over the company' something serious?"
"You should ask the vice-CEO," says Min. "But it was just a mood change. At one moment, I said we couldn't leave this place. It wasn't even about taking NewJeans out - we just needed them to leave us alone. But if they kicked us out, then tough luck."

"If Bang Si-hyuk wants to talk, will you be willing to?" asks Segye Ilbo. "Yes, but they never did," says Min. "If they had asked me to talk, I would have. I would do it for the sake of NewJeans."

Min, in conclusion. "I thank the journalists. I'm not trying to say I'm right. I just wanted to speak frankly. It's really not about money. I don't take it lightly - what would it take to push someone to do this? Imagine being tied to one company forever, wouldn't that suffocate you? You think of ways to break free. Some days you feel good, and some days, not. Let's talk among ourselves on KakaoTalk and the memos we've written in the meantime. Our relationship is bad, but I've seen what happened with Fifty Fifty, I'm not stupid if Park Ji-won and Bang Si-hyuk had said once, why. 'Are you doing this?' Then I could have talked. But I had to resort to an internal report because they never listened to us."

"We received a letter from HYBE asking to hold a shareholders' meeting," said lawyer Lee Sook-mi. "We were surprised that a management takeover attempt made headlines, as it's impossible when a company holds 80 % of the shares. I made an analogy with divorce, but they're making a framework out of very personal things."

"I say things here and there, and the vice-CEO is a funny person," says Min. "If you knew us, then the conversations would have made sense. I just want to ask HYBE why they would make a big deal out of everything - why are they making a big deal out of it? Why didn't they talk to me before all this? They pushed me to this internal report.

"There has been no attempt to buy back the company," lawyer Lee Sook-mi continues. "It's only when a very specific and solid plan is drawn up and can be executed that it becomes a crime."

"For me, it's not about money," says Min. "I can't say more because it concerns the contract."

"We told you we were renegotiating the contract, but the ILLIT case only made things worse," concludes lawyer Timothy SK Lee. "We asked her not to make an internal report because it would worsen their relationship. She agreed because she said she wanted to fix things."

HYBE responded to many points raised by Min Hee Jin.

HYBE responded to many points raised by Min Hee Jin.

On April 25th, Min Hee Jin held a press conference to defend her position. During this conference, Min Hee Jin revealed exchanges of messages with Bang Si Hyuk, in which Bang Si Hyuk talked about crushing aespa, the girl group from SM Entertainment. She also claimed that HYBE had asked her to lie and make it seem like LE SSERAFIM was her girl group, and that she was forbidden to promote NewJeans before LE SSERAFIM.

After this press conference, where the main points are discussed here, HYBE responded to many accusations.

The company stated:

"Hello, This is HYBE.

We want to clarify some points in response to the remarks made by ADOR's CEO, Min Hee Jin, during a press conference held on April 25th for the protection of shareholder value and intellectual property.

1. Regarding the claim that the repurchase of management rights was a joke or informal conversation

Recordings of discussions held over several months for the same purpose are documented in conversation transcripts and work logs. An informal conversation that occurs repeatedly over a long period, accompanied by the participation of third parties, is no longer an "informal conversation" but becomes a plan with execution. Furthermore, the vice president with whom the conversations took place is a certified public accountant with professional knowledge of corporate governance and has led HYBE's IPO functions and numerous mergers and acquisitions. He is also one of ADOR's top executives, who had access to all financial information of the company. The vice president even noted Min Hee Jin's remark "finally leaving HYBE" in the work log. This cannot in any way be considered a joke.

This cannot be considered a joke when multiple documents calculating the amount that could be obtained by exercising put options, specifically indicating the timing of action and mentioning terms such as infringement lawsuits, investors, and a public opinion battle, have already been found. There is even a record of Min Hee Jin instructing the vice president: "This should be noted as an informal conversation."

2. Regarding the allegation that the monetary compensation was insufficient

CEO Min claimed that her salary was 2 billion won (approximately 1.5 million euros). Specifically, the bonus for her performance in 2023 is 2 billion won, and her salary and long-term bonuses are calculated separately. This salary is by far the highest among all employees at HYBE headquarters and Korean subsidiaries.

HYBE also provided substantial stock compensation in addition to salary. The value of her stocks is very significant, to the point that normal people cannot imagine it. Nevertheless, CEO Min proposed an amount that the company could not accept and led the conversation to failure. We consider this process a pretext to gain independence in management rights.

3. Regarding the claim that the audit would have started immediately without a response to her email

We sent a detailed 6-page response in A4 format on April 22nd at 10:01 AM, and it is confirmed that CEO Min read the response around noon on the day of the email's sending. However, CEO Min continues to insist in her statement and during the press conference that she "did not receive a response."

The audit was conducted after recognizing attempts to seize management rights for several months through internal and external information and confirming that documents considered confidential business data had been disclosed. It is absurd to claim that the schedule for serious misconduct audits should be notified in advance.

4. Regarding the claim that there was no directive on returning informational assets

As part of the audit procedure, we visited Min Hee Jin's residence and studio in Mapo District, Seoul, to retrieve information on April 22nd at 10:00 AM. Despite multiple attempts to contact CEO Min by landline, email, and mobile phone messages, she did not respond. After the return deadline expired on April 23rd at 6:00 PM, we again requested the return of informational assets through ADOR Vice President Shin. Vice President Shin replied, "CEO Min is too busy to do so." CEO Min's claim that she discovered the return of informational assets through the media without prior notice and concluded that it was a media game is an irresponsible lie.

The claim that we confiscated her computer resources so she couldn't work before NewJeans' comeback is also a lie. As soon as we receive the returned laptop, we provide a new laptop and allow the download of all previous data so that work is not disrupted. Other audited individuals also work with the new devices provided to them.

5. Regarding the claim that we promised to debut NewJeans as the first HYBE girl group

This is a part we have already responded to in detail in the email sent to CEO Min on April 22nd. We suspect that the reason CEO Min claims she did not receive the email is that she cannot make such provocative but false statements if she read the email. We sent a detailed response as follows:

"CEO Min makes false statements based on your own distorted interpretation of the SOURCE MUSIC separation process. The reason NewJeans could not debut as the first HYBE girl group is not because HYBE did not keep our promise. At the time, you strongly insisted on debuting NewJeans under its own label while asking to form a team for which you would assume all responsibilities. HYBE respected your opinion and transferred the members to ADOR despite SOURCE MUSIC's opposition and provided a large amount of funds totaling 16 billion won (approximately 11.5 million euros) for NewJeans to debut as you wished. In this process, the debut schedule of NewJeans could not help but be delayed regardless of HYBE's intention due to the division of the company and the transfer of contracts.

Furthermore, you yourself have already revealed this process. In an interview with a media outlet published on March 24th, 2022, you directly mentioned that the girl group project would proceed according to your plan and that the launch would take place in the third quarter of 2022. You even remarked, "Rushed debuts can only be a huge burden on the young members. I don't want everyone to feel rushed, which is why I set the third quarter of 2022 as the launch date."

6. Regarding the claim that she was told not to promote NewJeans initially

Due to the R&R (roles and responsibilities) dispute between SOURCE MUSIC and CEO Min, the debut schedule of NewJeans was delayed, and SOURCE MUSIC's LE SSERAFIM debuted first. Since there was not enough time for promotions for both groups because their debut schedules immediately followed each other, it was decided to set minimal promotion periods. Additionally, in the case of Sakura, a member of LE SSERAFIM, articles about her "transfer to HYBE" were flooding in even before she signed a contract with HYBE. In this situation, if we promoted ADOR's first group as "a team composed only of rookies," we feared that the fact that Sakura joined SOURCE MUSIC as well as information about the composition of NewJeans members would be revealed. We made this request to protect the current value of both groups, and even in this case, we shortened the period halfway through and started promoting NewJeans earlier.

Regarding this, we also included our response in the email as follows:

"Furthermore, the time when CEO Min's interview took place was two months before the debut of LE SSERAFIM (May 22nd, 2022), so it can be recognized that you

 already had all the time to promote the girl group.

Your claim greatly differs from the perception of staff members who know how much SOURCE MUSIC and HYBE have provided full support and compromises for the success of ADOR."

7. Regarding the claim that HYBE neglected promoting only NewJeans

We have already responded in detail to this claim in the response to the email she sent.

"HYBE's communication organization is doing everything possible to promote NewJeans. Last year, 273 press releases were written and distributed for NewJeans alone. Compared to the 659 press releases from BIGHIT MUSIC, which led a total of eight artists including BTS in group and individually, and the 365 press releases from PLEDIS Entertainment, which led four artists including SEVENTEEN, it is difficult to assert that 'we neglected promoting NewJeans only.' Our public relations promote all labels and artists without discrimination and do their best to promote them."

8. Regarding the claim of a slavery contract

The non-compete clause contained in the shareholders' agreement includes a confidentiality obligation but was mentioned at the press conference by CEO Min. The non-compete clause is requested by shareholders to prevent unfair competition from a majority shareholder creating a company in the same sector after selling their shares. This is a common clause in any industry.

It is also not true to say that it is attached forever. CEO Min can sell her shares starting from November of this year, and if she sells the shares, she will not be subject to the non-compete clause from November 2026, the expiration date of her employment contract with our company.

It is impossible to call this a slavery contract when CEO Min is guaranteed a large sum of money to the point that she herself stated, "I can earn 100 billion won (approximately 75 million euros) just by sitting still," on the condition that she can cash out and start a business by next year. These are unconventional compensation terms that normal people cannot even imagine. Even in the KakaoTalk conversation CEO Min had with confidants, it is indicated that she can exercise the put option on January 2nd, 2025, and "leave."

Regarding the clauses regarding the sale of shares in the contract that CEO Min claims to be a slavery contract, there was a difference in interpretation of the priority order of the two clauses, and we already sent her a response in December of last year, saying, "If the interpretation is ambiguous, we can settle the ambiguous provisions by amending them so that there is no problem." CEO Min stated, "Money doesn't interest me," but the central issue that triggered the discussion was the amount of compensation.

9. Regarding the claim that we were told to do ESG management

Our company engages in ESG management activities to the extent possible. Regarding the eco-friendly album for which the company worked hard to advance, CEO Min spoke out saying, "melting photocards makes no sense." The company had to invest considerable manpower and expenses to convert the digital album material into paper and to convert the album case and photocards into environmentally friendly biodegradable material. Voluntarily accepting and investing in this is ESG management. We encourage the expansion of the application of environmentally friendly albums to all labels under HYBE, but the least cooperative label is ADOR, whose internal staff members are very aware.

10. Regarding the claim that there was no attempt at conversation

HYBE has constantly discussed changes to the shareholders' agreement with CEO Min, but the discussion was suspended when CEO Min's investigation, referred to as a "denunciation," reached HYBE. Nevertheless, HYBE sincerely responded to the matter referred to as a "denunciation" by CEO Min. However, the audit confirmed that CEO Min, during the period when negotiations of the shareholders' agreement were ongoing, secretly consulted with HYBE's internal lawyers and accountants to discuss amending the shareholders' agreement and raised issues in the form of denunciation. And she contacted law firms, institutional investors, etc. to discuss taking back management rights.

11. Regarding the claim that the shaman is simply a friend

A stranger involved in complex management cannot be considered a simple friend.

During the conversation between Min Hee Jin and the shaman, undisclosed amounts of stock options for executives as well as the management control structure, including the names of potential investors and the percentage of each investor's stake, are exchanged. Decisions on various management issues were made based on proposals from the shaman. We cannot consider such an interlocutor as a simple acquaintance. The company takes seriously the fact that important company information is indiscriminately exposed to third parties involved in decision-making and that it has also received requests for employment.

12. Why during the comeback period...? Regarding the claim that HYBE does not cherish NewJeans

The part that started attacking the company via email at the time of NewJeans' comeback is CEO Min's side. Secure records include instructions from CEO Min since April to prepare for a public opinion battle as well as recordings to torment the company. We wonder if they thought the company would accept a compensation demand that borders on unreasonable if they pressured the company at that time.

CEO Min's side is the one truly threatening the company by using the artist as a hostage. If the compensation demand is accepted, fine, and if not, they fully intend to use it as an excuse to terminate the relationship.

Over the years, our company has accepted and compromised with CEO Min's repeated demands. But this time, we realized that these demands were part of a so-called "build-up" process to take back control, and we had no choice but to proceed with an audit to protect the value of the multilabel, regardless of timing. The reason we also asked her not to mention the artist during press conferences and interviews is because we value the artist's worth."

Min Hee Jin might have asked to cancel the contracts of the NewJeans members.

Min Hee Jin might have asked to cancel the contracts of the NewJeans members.

According to a report from a South Korean media outlet on May 2nd, ADOR CEO Min Hee Jin reportedly requested permission to terminate the exclusive contracts of NewJeans members without interference from ADOR and HYBE shareholders several months ago.

This request, framed as an amendment proposal to Min Hee Jin's current shareholder contract with HYBE Labels, took place in February. Normally, decisions regarding the exclusive contracts of a company's main artists are made during a general assembly. For instance, artists like BTS and BLACKPINK confirmed their contract renewals with approval from the board of directors during a meeting of major shareholders.

However, Min Hee Jin allegedly requested an amendment to her shareholder contract that would allow her to terminate the contracts of NewJeans members with ADOR and HYBE on her own, without consulting the board of directors and without interference from HYBE.

Currently, ADOR's board of directors consists of Min Hee Jin, Vice President Shin, and Kim, a board member. However, as the majority shareholder of ADOR with 80% of the shares, HYBE can also exercise its rights not only to convene a board meeting but also to replace board members deemed disagreeable with its decisions.

According to reports, Min Hee Jin's request for such authority is what led HYBE to suspect ADOR's CEO of plotting an exit from HYBE behind their backs, and Min Hee Jin's amendment proposal was rejected.

Min Hee Jin and ADOR hit back.

Min Hee Jin and ADOR hit back.

On May 2nd, Min Hee Jin and ADOR responded point by point to HYBE's statements:

"We want to provide accurate facts about HYBE's claims.

We deeply regret having to release another statement on a topic other than our artist's news at such an important time when NewJeans' new music has just been released.

ADOR repeatedly asked HYBE to refrain from any media activity spreading information on unrelated topics to avoid damaging NewJeans' efforts through media conversations. HYBE also stated they would not refute the press conference held by CEO Min Hee Jin. We express our deep disappointment and regret that HYBE resumed their refutation through the media in less than a day.

Despite HYBE's refutation, ADOR didn't respond to avoid harming the artist's activities and to protect their value. However, as unverified questions continue to add to public confusion, ADOR wants to clarify the exact facts regarding the current controversy.

1. Regarding management rights takeover

HYBE's claim about a "management rights buyback" is unfounded. The evidence they provided was not for a takeover but stemmed from ongoing conflicts with HYBE based on "imagination." We reiterate there was no specific plan or execution related to this.

As the audit began and malicious public opinion battles intensified, ADOR's Vice President, deeply concerned for Min Hee Jin's safety, contacted HYBE's top management to request the halt of their unilateral manipulation of public opinion. However, HYBE's management responded it wasn't the time to worry about Min Hee Jin and pressured the vice president psychologically to sign a consent form for information provision, saying, "There will be no problem if you cooperate with us." The next day, the vice president's KakaoTalk messages were leaked to the media. This is a serious invasion of privacy and a violation of human rights. Recently, Min Hee Jin's legal representative confirmed to the Yongsan Police Station, while submitting the power of attorney, that the vice president who drafted it was excluded from the accused status.

HYBE maliciously altered the contents of conversations to give the impression that the initial intention was to take back management rights and intentionally advertised widely about it in the media. Min Hee Jin's statement: "This should be noted as an informal conversation," which has no connection to the context, was also selectively altered.

2. Regarding financial compensation

Firstly, Min Hee Jin stated at the press conference that the "bonus" was 2 billion won (approximately 1.5 million euros), not her salary. This was a reward for achieving an operating profit of 33.5 billion won (approximately 27 million euros) two years after ADOR's creation.

As mentioned at the press conference, her raised concern regarding reward calculation wasn't about the amount itself but about the criteria for determining rewards and the transparency of the decision-making process. Min Hee Jin felt HYBE's criteria for determining rewards were unclear, and there was a lack of clear explanations about the reward calculation process.

Twisting the facts about rewards like this and clouding the issue by mentioning Min Hee Jin's salary, rewards, and stock compensation can only be seen as HYBE's attempt to falsely portray Min Hee Jin as motivated by financial greed.

3. Regarding the internal alert and audit process

It seems CEO Park Ji Won responded to ADOR's internal whistleblower email on April 22nd at 10 a.m. At the same time, HYBE not only initiated an audit, including seizing the vice president's laptop but also sent a letter demanding Min Hee Jin's resignation and calling for a general shareholders' meeting. Just a few hours later, continuous news articles were published, announcing the sudden activation of audit rights over ADOR's management. The next day, the articles continued as if it were a live broadcast with HYBE's aggressive media activity. We would like to ask HYBE: What was your response to Min Hee Jin's internal whistleblower email?

We would also like to ask this: What kind of publicly traded company discloses audit details to the public that should be conducted discreetly, or even introducing unverified information and reporting it as live truth? Moreover, this happened just as another HYBE label artist was preparing for their comeback.

The activation of audit rights seriously hindered Min Hee Jin and ADOR staff's work, who were working tirelessly to prepare for NewJeans' comeback. Although HYBE claimed to immediately provide new laptops and allow existing work material download to ensure no work interruption, this wasn't true. Laptops were confiscated without giving vice presidents time to download their work documents, and the seizure process was also unreasonable.

4. Regarding HYBE's promise to debut NewJeans as the first girl group

HYBE publicly declared NewJeans as Min Hee Jin's girl group and HYBE's first girl group since "Plus Global Audition." This is a fact remembered by NewJeans' members' parents and ADOR's past executives and employees as witnesses. Eventually, with Sakura and Kim Chaewon's recruitment, LE SSERAFIM became HYBE's first girl group, and even though it was revealed HYBE didn't keep its promise of "HYBE's first girl group," HYBE doesn't hesitate to make false statements. At the time, Min Hee Jin requested ADOR's creation while giving up her shares and endured various disputes to transfer and debut NewJeans' members in ADOR.

Despite the truth about NewJeans' debut process, HYBE claimed: "NewJeans' debut planning couldn't help but be delayed regardless of HYBE's intention due to company division and contract transfer." It's regrettable HYBE continues to lie about the truth of what already happened.

5. Regarding the request not to promote NewJeans' debut

HYBE claims they were afraid revealing that Sakura joined SOURCE MUSIC along with NewJeans' member composition information, but this is not only factually incorrect but also logically inconsistent.

There's no explanation on the relationship between revealing that ADOR's first team is "composed only of rookies" and Sakura joining SOURCE MUSIC, as well as the issues that might arise from disclosing ADOR's first members' composition information.

HYBE gave the excuse: "As there wasn't enough time for both groups' promotions since their debut programs were immediately after each other, it was decided minimal promotion periods would be set," but in reality, there weren't such agreements. At the time, HYBE wanted to create confusion in the industry that LE SSERAFIM might be Min Hee Jin's girl group, and CEO Park Ji Won explicitly asked Min Hee Jin through calls and social media messages that ADOR shouldn't promote NewJeans. This is confirmed by social media conversation recordings between Park Ji Won and Min Hee Jin, but HYBE continues to change its story while giving irrelevant reasons.

6. Regarding the claim it's not a slavery contract

Min Hee Jin doesn't deny the necessity of the non-compete clause itself. As a leader of an entertainment business, she understands it might be prohibited to work in a competing company for a certain period after employment. However, the activity and duration subject to the non-compete restriction must be reasonable, which is not the case with the current shareholder pact.

Contrary to the official statement on April 25th, HYBE's refutation statement distributed to all media on April 26th accused Min Hee Jin of leaking the shareholder pact and refuted by revealing

 some of its content.

The irrationality of the current shareholder pact mainly lies in the fact Min Hee Jin can only be released from the non-compete clause by no longer holding any shares, and remedying this injustice is entirely natural. HYBE claimed in its refutation to have sent a response last December stating: "There were differences in interpretation in the provisions regarding stock sale in the contract. We will resolve the clause with an ambiguous interpretation," but any legal expert would find the interpretation unambiguous, and Min Hee Jin would continue to bear the non-compete obligation until she disposes of all shares with HYBE's consent. Although HYBE claimed to have sent a response to resolve the ambiguous clause in December, it wasn't until mid-March of this year that a revised proposal containing this content was received.

7. Regarding shareholder pact follow-up reports

Following HYBE's refutation, several follow-up reports confirmed by HYBE in the media were filled with speculations and distortions regarding the shareholder pact. To correct further misunderstandings, we provide this information.

HYBE misled by claiming Min Hee Jin demanded a 30x increase in the sell-back option, suggesting the current conflict is motivated by financial reasons. However, the 30x reflected the value of our future boy group production and was one of the proposals during the negotiation process to modify the shareholder pact with various unreasonable aspects, and it wasn't a priority item in the negotiations.

Moreover, HYBE promised Min Hee Jin an additional 10% stake in ADOR in the form of stock options when signing the stock purchase agreement and shareholder pact last March. However, legal counsel revealed stock options couldn't be granted to principal shareholder Min Hee Jin under the Commercial Code. This stock option wasn't requested by Min Hee Jin but proposed by HYBE. Min Hee Jin couldn't dismiss the perception HYBE misled her. It was a matter of "trust."

It's also untrue Min Hee Jin rejected HYBE's proposal to lift the non-compete obligation. HYBE suggested Min Hee Jin serves a mandatory eight-year term and assumes a one-year non-compete obligation after resignation, with the sell-back option to be exercised in stages based on this period. However, the ILLIT controversy arose during the shareholder pact negotiations, leading to the current situation. Min Hee Jin didn't communicate any position on HYBE's proposal. It's false Min Hee Jin expressed a refusal.

8. Regarding the claim the shaman is just a friend

NewJeans' success and ADOR's remarkable achievements achieved in a short time rest on rational business decisions. These claims are part of HYBE's strategy to undermine and deny ADOR's success.

ADOR's revenues and operating profit come from preventing unnecessary expenses, efficiently managing the budget, and efforts to improve brand image. If what they claim is possible, why would Min Hee Jin and ADOR staff work tirelessly day and night?

It's regrettable HYBE, which should be a leader in K-pop, attempted to formulate a personal defamation unrelated to the issue and not even worth responding to, especially by announcing it just before Min Hee Jin's press conference.

9. Regarding HYBE not cherishing NewJeans

HYBE suddenly announced the audit to the media on April 22nd without waiting for audit results. Without any concrete evidence, they claimed an impossible "management rights takeover" and didn't even try to listen to ADOR's internal position, triggering this issue before NewJeans' comeback.

HYBE claims they suggested not mentioning the artist. If they thought publicly attacking Min Hee Jin and ADOR wouldn't affect NewJeans' brand value, it indicates a lack of understanding of brand management and is a fallacy aimed at concealing their own management misjudgments.

We hope the above information will help resolve further speculations and misunderstandings.

On April 16th, Min Hee Jin said: "HYBE is unprepared, lacks understanding, and has a bad attitude toward a multi-label system," highlighting various issues and proceeding with an internal denunciation. Although it's a straightforward statement made with confidence in President Bang Si Hyuk's directive that "expressing one's differences and opinions in the face of injustice and irrationality in the workplace, even if it may be difficult to do so," the situation has reached the current extreme point with accusations of breach of trust.

ADOR is currently dedicating all efforts to supporting NewJeans' activities and will continue to do so. If HYBE genuinely wishes to protect intellectual property as they claim and consider shareholder interests, we hope they'll cease spreading unconvincing malicious propaganda and display a reasonable attitude in supporting ADOR so we can show our full dedication to creation."

Min Hee Jin is saying that HYBE harassed one of ADOR’s employees until she got home at 10 PM.
Source : edaily

Min Hee Jin is saying that HYBE harassed one of ADOR’s employees until she got home at 10 PM.

On May 10th, she said:

"Before ADOR's board meeting today, we want to talk about what happened when one of ADOR's employees went through an illegal audit because of weird issues brought up by HYBE's audit team until the wee hours of today.

HYBE's audit team started checking out ADOR's style team leader after work hours around 7 PM on May 9th. The audit went on for over five hours, past midnight into May 10th, and they followed the employee from the office to her home, not just asking for her work laptop but also her personal phone that isn't owned by the company, and did an audit that went beyond what they were supposed to do. Also, the audit team acted unreasonably, making serious threats like 'You'll have to go to the police station if you don't cooperate,' abusing their auditing power and putting psychological pressure on our employee. Doing this coercive audit when they knew the employee had early morning commitments clearly interferes with our business.

According to the employee, HYBE's audit team brought up issues about the contractual relationship between ADOR and the style team leader, putting psychological pressure by saying things like, 'Since the embezzlement and breach of trust are clear, we're thinking of filing a complaint.' But such contractual relationships are common practice in the industry, and this info was already shared with HYBE's HR and ER departments in February. This could've been easily understood without the unpleasant audit of the employee.

Usually, in the advertising sector, external freelancers for hair, makeup, and styling are hired for shoots, with separate contracts signed between advertisers and freelancers.

For NewJeans advertising shoots, ADOR used internal staff for styling instead of external staff. This approach ensured consistent styling quality, flexibility for sudden schedule changes, and helped manage artists' privacy. Internal staff were paid for styling expenses directly by advertisers, and ADOR considered these payments when calculating internal staff bonuses.

When calculating performance bonuses for 2023, it was decided that managing all styling work internally would be difficult because NewJeans had more advertising shoots than expected and additional non-advertising tasks increased. So, it was agreed that starting from 2024, the work procedure would be revised, and advertising shoot styling would be outsourced. And this decision was already shared with HYBE's HR and ER departments in February. What HYBE is currently contesting is actually that internal employees receive the amount that advertisers pay to freelancers instead of receiving bonuses from ADOR, and since there was no financial harm to ADOR, embezzlement cannot be established contrary to what HYBE claims. This issue can be easily verified through HR records provided by HYBE as shared services.

Despite an agreement being reached between the parties through rational decision-making on this issue, HYBE not only unreasonably initiated an audit of the style team leader yesterday but also committed acts that go beyond normal business conduct, including following an employee to her home late at night after 10 PM and forcing her to sign a form consenting to the use of her laptop. The fact that HYBE claims, 'This is clear evidence of embezzlement and breach of trust,' even though there's no problem with the procedure or content, shows that HYBE's management lacks understanding of the industry. The method of this audit also constitutes illegal actions such as interference with business, coercion, and invasion of privacy.

ADOR takes this matter seriously as it shows HYBE's intent to find faults with ADOR and CEO Min Hee Jin in any way possible, as they did during the previous coercive audit of the vice president. After announcing the audit to the media on April 22nd, HYBE conducted a defamation campaign in various ways using the media. Fearing that this coercive audit could also be used for media purposes, we decided to transparently and proactively disclose the facts about it.

The involved employee is currently experiencing mental distress due to discomfort. We plan to withdraw consent for the use of personal information obtained in a coercive situation that lasted over five hours, and we are also considering filing a complaint for interference with business and coercion.

HYBE's management shows a lack of understanding of the industry by mentioning an embezzlement transaction without considering the specifics of the work. It's clear who, under the guise of an audit, is causing inefficiency and interference with business."

The parents of the NewJeans members are upset with Bang Si Hyuk and HYBE.
Source : ilgansports

The parents of the NewJeans members are upset with Bang Si Hyuk and HYBE.

A letter from the NewJeans parents has come out.

As the feud between HYBE and ADOR / Min Hee Jin continues, Ilgan Sports revealed an email sent by Min Hee Jin to HYBE and its label BELIFT LAB on April 3rd. In the email, Min Hee Jin shared a letter she received from the parents of NewJeans members on March 31st. The letter talks about similarities between BELIFT LAB's group (ILLIT) and NewJeans, how NewJeans was treated by HYBE's president, Bang Si Hyuk, and more.

Here's what the parents wrote:

"We, as the parents and legal guardians of Kim Minji, Hanni Pham, Kang Haerin, Marsh Danielle, and Lee Hyein (NewJeans), submit the following statement to ADOR CEO Min Hee Jin on March 31, 2024.

We express deep concern over the controversy arising with many similarities in concept (photos, video clips, etc.), style, choreography, etc. between NewJeans and a group that debuted under another HYBE label (hereinafter referred to as "000").

These similarities appear to result from intentional imitation by HYBE / BELIFT LAB.

What is shown in the series of concept photos, style, music video production, choreography, and internally produced content, as well as the fact that all employees and staff who worked with NewJeans at their debut and had never worked with any other idol group before and worked exclusively with NewJeans, but were taken by HYBE to work on 000's debut, makes it difficult to deny the intentionality behind these actions.

Content similar to NewJeans has already been mass-produced, and suspicions such as copying and plagiarizing NewJeans have widely circulated. It is deeply regrettable that another label under the same parent company could plan a team that intentionally recalls the debut era of NewJeans barely a year and eight months after NewJeans' debut.

More than anything, we question the logic behind such irrational planning within the same company, even though it is common sense for groups with different characteristics to target different markets, especially when the debuts are not very far apart from each other. We understand that ADOR was not involved or cooperative in this process.

We ask HYBE / BELIFT LAB to clarify their intentions behind these similar plans that were arbitrarily developed.

Furthermore, marketing a new group in a way that cleverly establishes comparisons with NewJeans poses a more serious problem. Did ADOR give permission to use choreography with identical movements?

If these situations persist, it will undoubtedly harm the reputation and brand value of NewJeans.

As the public criticizes and refutes the similarities between the two groups and various unnecessary controversies and comparisons are created, members experience severe mental distress in this process where NewJeans' achievements so far may be damaged. Not only the members but their families feel great fatigue at the mention of 000 together in almost every article about NewJeans and on social media and even feel helpless not being able to stop it. We are upset and hurt that NewJeans is used in unnecessary comparative analysis, and it's painful.

On the TikTok video that sparked plagiarism controversies because 000 didn't credit a foreign choreographer, an astonishingly liked comment stated, 'I thought this was NewJeans.' The concerned video has a high number of views. Someone can watch the video and wrongly think it's NewJeans.

Even in internally produced videos of several thousand people, there was content that could be used as a source of rumors. We felt that some references in the internally produced videos by BELIFT LAB were highly inappropriate. As feared, relevant rumors were produced, and we discovered content mocking NewJeans on an online community. It is very regrettable that this content was not filtered out when it was entirely produced and edited by HYBE's internal production team.

Does BELIFT LAB / HYBE intend to protect the brand value of NewJeans and each of its members?

The reason this has not been treated as a major concern is that absurd situations frequently occurred. Bang Si Hyuk doesn't even greet the members. We wonder why HYBE President Bang Si Hyuk ignored the NewJeans members and their greetings whenever he met them in the company.

First, we doubted when the children told us, 'He must not have recognized us,' and we repeated the question several times. However, this happened repeatedly, and since there were times when they met him alone on different dates and at different places, he had to recognize that the members were NewJeans.

Even if he didn't know they were NewJeans members, it should be elementary to respond to someone greeting you. Is it so difficult to exchange greetings within the company? After hearing more than once or twice that they stood there without saying anything in the elevator because it was embarrassing to be ignored, noticing that Bang Si Hyuk pretended not to see them and they felt he was deliberately avoiding them, we were surprised at this childish and incredible situation as parents, and we were at a loss because we couldn't say anything to our children. These members are only in their middle and high school years.

This is not the only treatment we can't understand. In the past, NewJeans members signed as trainees of SOURCE MUSIC after hearing the offer and promised to be HYBE's girl group, and then they had to wait blindly without hearing any explanation from SOURCE MUSIC while the project was delayed. In the meantime, we heard news of a billion contract signings. Eventually, contrary to what was promised at the time of contract signing, another group (LE SSERAFIM) debuted as HYBE's first girl group.

The broken promise of NewJeans as HYBE's first girl group and the endless waiting and neglect experienced by NewJeans members when they were trainees at SOURCE MUSIC are unforgettable nightmares. Because of the difficult process experienced at SOURCE MUSIC, one member even considered giving up her debut.

The persistent issue of plagiarism currently shaking various fan communities and social media is the result of unfair treatment by HYBE and lack of transparent communication, and we believe this is only the beginning.

We oppose the use of NewJeans as a strategy to deliberately attract attention only when necessary by HYBE under the pretext that it belongs to a HYBE sub-label, and we express regret over the promotional methods of HYBE / BELIFT LAB that were arbitrarily implemented without request or consultation although there was no involvement or prior agreement with ADOR, and we demand corrective measures.

Considering the past to present problems, including content we could not include in this email, we, as legal representatives of NewJeans, believe it will be difficult to restore our broken trust in HYBE.

It has become clear through various incidents that HYBE does not respect NewJeans, which concerns us about how HYBE will exploit NewJeans in the future and what it will imitate next.

With heavy hearts, we officially ask ADOR CEO Min Hee Jin, in charge of NewJeans management contracts, to take action to block HYBE / BELIFT LAB's counterfeit activities against NewJeans and to protect their brand value.

According to the exclusivity contracts signed on April 21, 2022, ADOR is committed to faithfully providing management services so that NewJeans talents and qualities can be maximized and to do everything possible to ensure that profits are maximized, thus promoting mutual

 benefits. We strongly urge ADOR to take the best possible measures to eradicate ongoing plagiarism disputes caused by HYBE and marketing activities that exploit these disputes.

Furthermore, we hope that you will enlighten HYBE to protect the value that NewJeans possesses and allow its potential to be realized by encouraging individual labels to create diverse content based on their own new ideas and not by unethical methods of stealing and promoting existing and innovative content in the music industry.

We read an article stating that OOO members mentioned at their first showcase: 'Producer Bang Si Hyuk meticulously monitored our practices and gave us feedback,' indicating that President Bang Si Hyuk took charge of their entire production. If no one other than the president directly realizes it himself, it would be appropriate to employ a differentiation strategy considering existing groups within the company. Additionally, if overlapping content is discovered, even if it turns out to be unintentional, it should be corrected in principle immediately. However, the impression from interview articles suggests that he tolerates, acquiesces, or even directs such actions himself, inevitably raising questions about HYBE's ethical consciousness.

Following the success of NewJeans, which changed K-POP trends to the point that the term 'male NewJeans' was coined due to frequent imitations, we express firm condemnation of HYBE's respect for this trend in its most severe form without any consideration for protection of originality.

As a leader in the K-POP industry, HYBE must provide a reasonable and healthy environment for artists under its labels.

We demand a strong protest against HYBE for the mentioned issues and await their response and corrective measures.

March 31, 2024 Legal representatives of NewJeans"


HYBE has publicly responded to the email from the parents of NewJeans members, which was revealed earlier today by Ilgan Sports.

In a statement released on May 13th, HYBE addressed the email from Min Hee Jin, which included a message purportedly from the parents of NewJeans. HYBE stated:

"This is a statement from HYBE.

We wish to provide clarification regarding an email allegedly sent by the parents of NewJeans, as reported by a media outlet on May 13th.

We received the mentioned email on April 3rd and responded on April 16th, indicating that there was no plagiarism between ILLIT and NewJeans.

We also affirm that the claim that the incident with ADOR began due to 'negligence such as not greeting the members' is a unilateral and false argument.

We find it highly regrettable that Min Hee Jin is using an outdated tactic by involving the artists and their families in her personal battles for greed.

We have evidence that ▲ sending emails attacking HYBE was part of an initial plan to take control of management rights and for her personal gain. ▲ Min Hee Jin suggested using the parents to raise issues because it would violate the shareholders' agreement if she did it herself. ▲ The email allegedly sent by the parents was actually written by Vice President L and Min Hee Jin. We plan to submit this evidence to the investigative and judicial authorities.

We cannot help but express our dismay at Min Hee Jin's behavior, using the artists as shields for her personal gain and even putting their parents at the forefront. We urge her not to deceive the public opinion and to show restraint to protect the artists' value."

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