Min Hee Jin’s emotional press conference on the HYBE/ADOR conflict also includes NewJeans and a surprising amount of other groups

Alright, so as the next chapter in the HYBE/ADOR conflict, Min Hee Jin and her lawyers recently held a press conference to respond to HYBE’s claims about her and other executives at ADOR, which now range from trying to declare independence to using a shaman to make management decisions (yes, really).


Not even sure where to start, as I thought she would be reading a carefully constructed statement alongside lawyers and then selectively take questions. Instead, she basically talked about everything she could in a scattershot manner, including at times against the advice of her own lawyer. All the better for everybody watching, honestly.

Like it starts off with this, to give you an idea of the tone:

“I feel like they all want me to die. If I suddenly die, will everyone be happy? That’s honestly what I think. I don’t read all the articles and comments. If I do, I can’t live. I wonder if anyone can handle this much distress in a short period of time.” She added, “I am also human, and it’s not confirmed that I’m guilty. I think I’m innocent.”


So maybe organizing things by topic instead of in order is the best way.



The Ongoing Conflict Between HYBE & ADOR

  • Min Hee Jin claims that all she did was make an internal report about the ILLIT plagiarism issue and hoped it would be formally addressed. Said HYBE’s answer to it was to audit and raid them.
  • Regarding the computers being confiscated, she said, “From ADOR’s perspective, I want to file a lawsuit against HYBE for the interruption of business.
  • With regards to the escape plans that HYBE’s audit found, she reiterates that it was just out of context convos that weren’t serious, “The things that I’ve been saying with my vice CEO are just things that we discussed out of intimacy. Yes, some things went over the line, but it’s because the conversations have been rid of the context of where they came from. If someone framed you a certain way and edited your own conversations, it would be so easy to make a new story out of it.
  • Similarly, with regards to courting sovereign wealth funds, she basically says it was a joke, “We were just messing about when we mentioned the Saudi Arabia fund. Would that even be possible? Sorry, I’m just like this. They are manipulating the conversations because it’s just so nonsensical. It’s all about honor for me. They know that I care about honor, and they used that against me when I made NewJeans, and I can’t abandon them. [HYBE CEO] Park Ji Won, you really need to look back on your actions, if you’re watching this. Park Ji Won, you acted like you were my friend, then you went to Bang Si Hyuk. He asked me to trust him.
  • Her lawyer added that it makes no sense that she would try to take control of ADOR, “You will all know that seizing control will be impossible. ADOR is doing so well financially, so it would be impossible. We have not been refuting because it doesn’t make sense to.
  • With regards to the occupational breach of trust accusation against her, the lawyer steps in to push back against it, “It just cannot be a breach of trust. When you say ‘breach of trust,’ it’s when an action actually leads to damaging the company. There was no incident where Min tried to diminish the company value. You cannot ‘plot’ to breach the trust. This just doesn’t count as that. I’m actually looking forward to the report they’re filing to the police.

Min Hee Jin’s Contract With HYBE

  • Min Hee Jin refers to her shareholder contract as weird, and her attorney takes over, explaining that earlier this year they were reworking details of the contract because there were unfair terms. However, he cannot expand because there’s a confidentiality clause.
  • Min Hee Jin then goes on to rant about it anyway, “This is the weird thing. I can’t say what I’m suffering from. The contradiction in the contract is that the 5 percent, of the 20 percent that I had and the 2 percent I gave to the staff, I can’t sell. It’s like a slave contract. I have to be bound to HYBE forever.” Her lawyer then interjects, “She’s saying some things that could be misunderstood.
  • In a roundabout way, she ends up addressing the allegations of outside consultant involvement, “I do have a business mind. But I majored in art, so I don’t know the contract terms. It’s confusing. So a venture capitalist friend, who I know, I asked what happened with the 5 percent, and that’s how I got in contact with [law firm] Kim & Shin. Then HYBE turned that into me ‘consulting an outside consultant.’ But what on earth did I discuss with an investor? I could never leave HYBE, should things go there. They could starve me to death. See how they copied ILLIT? But this is my personal thought. I trusted them and signed the contract. That’s how I got into this mess.
  • This exchange then follows, which is basically a meme:
  • Later, her lawyer adds that they told her not to file the internal complaint because it might impact her contract negotiations, but she did it anyway because she wanted to make things right for NewJeans.
  • Regarding accusations that this is about money, she says, “If I wanted money, I wouldn’t have made an internal accusation. I can earn at least 100 billion won (approximately $73 million) just by sitting still. But I can’t stand to see what I don’t like, so I have to talk about it. That’s why I’m suffering.

On GFRIEND & Source Music

  • Min Hee Jin says she wanted to start from scratch to begin with, but Bang Si Hyuk suggested buying Source Music and she only said yes to be agreeable. “I know that it would have been best for me to spend my own money and make a label. The reason I joined the company was that it had a set system. The family, the employees, it was easier for me to pay them. But if you make a new company, you inevitably become poor. But I wanted to fulfill my potential. It wasn’t about making money. Getting investors involved would’ve been so difficult for me as a woman. I’ve seen so many dirty things. So I thought, ‘Let’s just join a company and get paid.’ I had always felt alone. We didn’t see eye to eye. Bang Si Hyuk wanted to benchmark Billie Eilish, but I wasn’t sure. Then COVID-19 came. It became so difficult. Source had GFRIEND. Disbanding that group had nothing to do with me. Let me just emphasize that.
  • Min Hee Jin clarifies that she had never been at Source and that she was the one who brought four of the NewJeans members into the fold, as there was nobody at Source she wanted besides Minji, “There was a problem with the process of picking trainees to begin with. I don’t know why everyone has been blaming me for [GFRIEND’s] disbandment. I have nothing to do with it. I’m someone who is only concerned about my own job. Anyway, out of the trainees that Source already had, there wasn’t much I could choose from. There was only Minji. I’m sorry to say this, but I couldn’t make a selection because they were either too old or they needed to polish their skills more or they didn’t really suit me. Anyway, so I thought that Minji [had potential] because she was young then and would get much better with practice. And Minji was really pretty when she was young, way prettier than now. So I thought I would be able to do something (create a group) with her. Anyway, so I had to do casting again. I’m sorry to the group, but the label’s branding was so bad, so people wouldn’t apply to audition because of GFRIEND. And this was before HYBE was created as a multi-label. The first thing we used to brand the project was ‘Min Hee Jin’s girl group’. People would be curious because I came from SME and I was collaborating with them.


  • LE SSERAFIM end up playing a surprisingly significant role as a catalyst of all this, as Min Hee Jin believed she was to get HYBE’s first girl group (retconning GLAM, I guess), and was going to quit over finding out that she wouldn’t, “What angers me so much is in June, or July, in 2021, soon after Park Ji Won joined a young company from a game company, he wanted to become close to me, so we became friends. We’re similar ages, too. Park Ji Won and So Sung Jin (Source Music Founder) said that HYBE’s first girl group would have to be a new girl group from Source with Sakura and Chaewon. I swore at them, saying, ‘Are you out of your minds?’ The trainees all came to me because it was going to be a Min Hee Jin girl group, not a Source girl group. I never knew that they were recruiting Sakura and Chaewon, but then they said they were debuting that group first. I said I was going to quit and open a press conference. Park Ji Won asked me what he could do to make up for the situation.
  • Due to that turn of events, the NewJeans members and their parents were worried that they wouldn’t get to debut, “There’s a time for everything, and you never explained all this to the members and their parents, I told him. They never apologized to the parents. The parents were so angry. They blamed Source because they were afraid that [NewJeans] might not debut because of the Source girl group. I didn’t want to turn my back on the trainees because I would be abandoning them. They didn’t even let me see the girls.
  • Later, she brings up her relationship with Park Ji Won souring over LE SSERAFIM again, “Did Bang Si Hyuk ask to see you?” MTN asks. “No,” she replies. “Did you ask to meet him?” MTN asks. “Park Ji Won is in the middle, and I’m sorry to say this, but it’s like how married couples don’t want to see each other before their divorce. Our relationship worsened because of LE SSERAFIM. I’m sorry, but we never met afterward,” she explains.
  • Through tears, Min Hee Jin talks about the growing tensions with HYBE while forming ADOR and how she believes they wanted people to think LE SSERAFIM was her group, “A fight would’ve taken months, so I just said okay to the shares of the company after three months. I said that I felt like I was giving birth, and I really did. It would’ve been disgusting for me to say all this to the children, but I did tell the parents because they, too, were angry at HYBE. 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 that LE SSERAFIM was Min Hee Jin’s girl group.


  • Min Hee Jin addresses her problems with ILLIT, saying it’s about HYBE’s governance, “Each label needs to keep its uniqueness, like with ILLIT. I’m not talking trash about them. They’re innocent, the members — it’s the adults that have sinned. They just copied all the formulas that we had with NewJeans. It’s obvious that ADOR will compare us to what they did. They should never have gone with multilabel [system] and should’ve just done what SME and YG Entertainment do. When someone copies someone and does it well, it brings everyone down. It brings the whole industry down. It damages the shareholders’ value. I don’t care about being cursed at, but I feel relieved that I can talk about everything today. Everything needs to change.
  • Min Hee Jin also talks about feeling like HYBE were trying to kill NewJeans, “Governance needs a proper road map. An owner should have prevented a copycat from arising, not encouraged one. All I can think is that they’re trying to kill NewJeans. They’re making our thing old. Why would they do this on the same team? It’s not even about respecting the creative rights. Why would you copy it? The posters for NewJeans and BELIFT LAB are exactly the same. Really, it is. The hanbok pictorial never existed before us, then ILLIT just copied it exactly. You can’t tell them apart. These intentions are so unpure. We debuted with the Chanel event. HYBE never got that advert for us. The advertisers for NewJeans came to us; they were never given to us by HYBE. I want to apologize for concerning them. But anyway, we debuted with Chanel, but that wasn’t our intention. It just happened to take place before a TV show, and I thought it could be new. Then ILLIT did it with Acne. They just took the formula. Is this not purely intentional? Why did you use our choreography? I asked them, and they didn’t answer us. Our choreographers are so pissed. It would be wrong for us not to say anything. They’re ruining ILLIT, too.
  • This recap essentially lays out the timeline of how things went, according to Min Hee Jin:


  • Everything that HYBE is saying is a lie. I’ve never said BTS copied me.
  • I never said, ‘BTS stole my thing.’ But HYBE was worried this would become defamation, so they said, ‘She said something to the effect of BTS stole my thing.’
  • Min Hee Jin insisted the BTS stuff was fake, before saying, “I want to ask HYBE why they made everything like this and try to ruin me.

On aespa

  • Min Hee Jin revealed a convo with Bang Si Hyuk in which he asks her, “You can trample/crush aespa, right? Heh.” She responds by laughing, to which he also laughs and says, “I’m leaving it to you then. When shall we have a drink?
  • In another convo, Bang Si Hyuk tells her, “Forget SME, just construct Min Hee Jin world.” She responds, “I just…“, to which he interjects with, “Don’t worry.” She replies, “Lol, I’m not worried, I just wonder if [redacted] have to say such things [redacted].
  • Min Hee Jin basically says she went along with it because he’s her boss, but that kind of stuff was never her goal, and it changed her view of him, “I thought that he was a really generous person, but I found that he was different on the outside from how he was on the inside.


  • Surprisingly, IVE ended up being mentioned in the context of them doing well, thus Bang Si Hyuk didn’t have confidence in LE SSERAFIM.

On NewJeans & Their Parents

  • Min Hee Jin discussed the personal relationship she has with her group, “NewJeans and I have something more than what you would know. They always tell me that they thank me and love me. Hanni told me that she’d come over to me. Haerin is usually like a cat and doesn’t speak a lot, but she called me and told me that she couldn’t come up with the words to text me. She said that she just wanted to hear my voice. Haerin cried for 20 whole minutes.” She bursts into tears before continuing, “She told me that she thanks me so much because I helped her through hard times. She said that she wants to tell everyone what happened. The members’ mothers are so worried that I’m going to kill myself. But why would I? I’m going to say everything that I have in my heart. Do you know what Park Ji Won said to the mothers? He said that he’s not going to talk to them, just to ADOR. And they say that they care about NewJeans? I don’t care whether they sue me for libel.
  • Speaking of the parents of the members, she talked about where they stand, “I messaged the parents that I was doing all this because NewJeans just feels like my baby. They really do. They’ve been calling me and crying at night telling me that they feel so sorry for me. A mother of a member called me and said that I should tell my story because I’m being witch-hunted. They knew that HYBE was trying to make me the witch and Source the victim.
  • Min Hee Jin also said that Bang Si Hyuk acted weird about the success of the group, “He suddenly asked me after NewJeans released ‘Ditto‘ and debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, ‘Are you happy now?’ Why wouldn’t I have been happy? Doesn’t the conversation seem really weird? Our relationship had changed.
  • Min Hee Jin questioned whether HYBE really cares about NewJeans or not, including an almost comically-timed interjection from her lawyer, who explains things in plain terms. “It’s like Solomon’s baby. I’m the mother. Does HYBE really care about NewJeans? NewJeans releases something tomorrow, and they do this? They’re doing the shaman frame because they couldn’t find any dirt on my company card. The only thing I bought was dinner for my late-night works.” Her lawyer follows up, “HYBE knew that the music video was launching. They could have been shocked, but why would they just go ahead with releasing it straight away? Do they really have the best interest of NewJeans at heart?

Assorted Min Hee Jin Rants

  • HYBE is going forward with a public relations strategy stronger than it does with its artists. I have become a witch.
  • It’s not me that turned my back on HYBE, it’s HYBE that betrayed me. It used me to the fullest and now wants to take me down because I don’t listen to them. No one has done what I have done during the 30 years in K-pop. But HYBE is trying to kill someone who’s done what I have as the head of a subsidiary. I’m the only one in the history of the entertainment industry to have reached such results in two years, my only crime is being good at my own job.
  • This is so lowly. See them releasing the press release just before the press conference? There are so many bastards in this industry. I need to vent. You’re depressed now, Park Ji Won? I’ve been depressed for 10 years now.
  • I know I look crazy, but I don’t act elegant. I’m tender inside — that’s why I’m [expletive] saying all this. There’s no one like me in this industry. Only people who make money make more money. But I wish people with some sort of ideology would lead the industry, not just people who are crazy about making money.
  • NewJeans achieved good results without using random photocards to increase sales. Some may say NewJeans doesn’t do random photocards but does have random albums. In fact, having all the photos of the artists in one album, it becomes a dictionary. The price of the album remains the same as 20 years ago. If we charge it at the price of a dictionary, will it sell? If we don’t do random, there will be a comparison of the members’ popularity. I didn’t want to sell albums in such a dirty way. I believe that we should sell the album for its content and compete fairly. That’s my responsibility. Idols are having a hard time because they have to keep doing fansigning events. They keep asking NewJeans to do fansigning events. I think the music market is going the wrong way so I started doing this with NewJeans. I wanted to show people that we can do well even without such tricks.
  • When I quit SM Entertainment, that was also followed by rumors that I turned my back on them. You have to know that I am a strange person. I left SME because [SM founder] Lee Soo Man thought that I was smart. It was difficult but I worked hard. I tried to expand my work and didn’t quit even though it was hard. But his work and mindset changed with time and I became disappointed. But I always told him, ‘I’ll tell you this because I think of you as my father.’ At the end, I told him that I would leave him because I want to do something new, and SME was not the place where I could make it happen. He asked me whether I wanted to take some time off then lead a new label or a place at SME. But I never wanted an executive place. That wasn’t my goal. They didn’t let me go for three months. Then I just quit.

Other Random Stuff

One notable aspect of the press conference was her constantly going against her lawyers’ advice and/or them having to soften/explain what she’s saying.

Like Min Hee Jin seemingly said something that could be construed as recruiting investors, “I tried to say things nicely, I told them not to mess with my VPs [vice presidents]. I never pass on a fight to others. I fight for them. I’ve been offered so many places, even during my time here. I got calls from investors on the second and third day of this whole thing, even though I thought that my reputation had been ruined.” And so her lawyer interjects, “You have to understand that she didn’t plot anything.” She then continued on the same path, “I’m just saying that I’ve been getting calls for investment. It’s a crazy world where everyone will do everything for money. I did all this, and 16 billion won?” At that point her lawyer cut her off.

Really just in general, her lawyers seemed to be going through it.

Do you need a translation on this?

Representative of the mayhem that was unfolding, at one point a fan disguised as a reporter attempted to ask a question.

Also, in terms of us watching, at least one person was doing this in the chat:


I’ll try to add stuff if I find it, but it was tiresome enough just to organize all this, honestly. That’s mainly because it was a wild and random press conference, which was seemingly done that way by design to make it feel genuine, but that did cause some issues in terms of trying to cut through to the central message.

That said, in terms of content, Min Hee Jin certainly delivered, so I can’t really complain, can I? This was peak.

Aside from providing entertainment value and getting her side on record (no matter how messily), the most interesting thing to emerge from this was getting a surprising amount of insight and/or confirmation into how things work on a personal level within these companies, mostly the ugly competitive side that we all know exists but typically don’t get to see.

Anyway, really hope NewJeans come out of this alright, as well as all the other groups mentioned, and I also feel for all the regular employees getting caught up in this.


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Thot Leader™