ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin denies allegations, accuses HYBE of mistreating NewJeans

ADOR CEO Min Hee-jin denies allegations, accuses HYBE of mistreating NewJeans. Image: Yonhap via The Korea Herald

Min Hee-jin, CEO of YBE sublabel ADOR, speaks during a press conference held at the Korea Conference Center in Seocho-gu, Seoul, Thursday. Image: Yonhap via The Korea Herald

At a hastily called press conference at the Korea Conference Center in southern Seoul on Thursday afternoon, April 25, Min Hee-jin, CEO of HYBE sub-label ADOR, said she was innocent of all allegations raised against her and accused the K-pop powerhouse of mismanaging the agency.

Min dismissed HYBE’s accusation that she had tried to take over the management of ADOR, in which she holds an 18 percent stake, by attracting outside investors and pressuring the company.

Earlier in the day, the K-pop behemoth posted Min’s personal message with ADOR’s vice president that contained a conversation concerning plans to pressure and break away from the entertainment monolith. Min explained that the conversation was an extension of personal grievances made after a series of unfair treatment by HYBE, including an unfair contract.

“The message was sent during a frustrating renegotiation process of shareholder relations with the company, and I was just venting to the sub-label’s vice president. It was just a joke and a complaint, nothing to be taken seriously,” she said. “My messages were maliciously rearranged to create a scenario.”

READ: HYBE, Min Hee-jin mired in power struggle over NewJeans’ label ADOR

She added that the 18 percent stake she has is bound by unfair contracts, but that further information on the contract could not be made public due to confidentiality obligations with the K-pop giant. She said she is willing to divulge such details if the agency agrees.

Min’s lawyer, Lee Sook-mi, also stated that with the stake Min holds it is impossible to attempt to seize control as HYBE has claimed.

NewJeans’ pre-debut promos

Min also argued that HYBE hindered the predebut promotion of ADOR’s girl group NewJeans.

“It may seem like Bang Si-hyuk – the founder and head producer of the company – supported the debut of NewJeans, but that’s not the case. I thought creating the sub-label was for the shareholders and for the members. They are the kids I picked and branded, and I trained them with the songs and choreography by the directors I assigned. But Hybe prevented me from meeting them, as if I would take them away” Min said.

NewJeans. Image: Ador via The Korea Herald

Min said the agency prevented promotions related to NewJeans before their debut in order to promote LE SSERAFIM, a girl group under another HYBE label, Source Music.

Min stressed that all she cares about is the future of NewJeans, regardless of the company.

READ: LE SSERAFIM hopes to show vulnerable side in new mini-album ‘Easy’

Prior to Min’s sudden press conference, the agency claimed it had obtained evidence to prove that Min has been receiving advice from a shaman on major company management matters.

According to the K-pop behemoth, the shaman claimed to have spiritual contact with a close relative of Min and has been participating in various aspects of management by personally interacting with Min. HYBE said that Min had also asked the shaman about the military service of the bandmates of BTS, implying that it would be better for ADOR if BTS halts activities.

Min denied this allegation as well, saying the shaman is an acquaintance of hers.

“The reason I asked the shaman about BTS’ military service is because I was so tired of the agency treating me badly. I thought that in a situation where BTS, the unrivaled star of K-pop, isn’t around, our activities might gain more attention. That shaman is just an acquaintance before being a shaman.”

Concerning her allegation that ILLIT, a new girl group created by another sub-label Belift Lab, has copied NewJeans’ concept and choreography, Min stressed that she has no intention of dragging down the other group.

“The issue lies with the multi-label governance system of the company, and it’s not about criticizing Illit, but rather pointing out that the production team has mimicked (NewJeans’) production format,” said Min.

The CEO added that NewJeans’ upcoming album release would proceed as planned, and she stressed that for the good of the group she would be open to having a conversation with HYBE founder Bang to resolve the matter.

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