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Fifty Fifty breaks silence over legal battle with agency

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Girl group Fifty Fifty posing for photos during a press conference held on April 13 in Gangnam, southern Seoul [NEWS1]
Girl group Fifty Fifty posing for photos during a press conference held on April 13 in Gangnam, southern Seoul [NEWS1]

Members of girl group Fifty Fifty have publicly spoken out for the first time since they began a legal battle with their agency Attrakt in June.

“We have been feeling an indescribable sense of remorse amid the snow-balling misunderstandings and criticisms that have been aimed at us every day,” members Keena, Saena, Sio and Aran said in a hand-written letter uploaded on Thursday night.

“We believed that even through the hardships, the truth had to be unveiled. We hoped, and still hope, that our rights will be protected by the court. We will keep on collecting and filing the evidence to prove ourselves.”

“There are so many untrue stories that are being reported and circulated,” the letter continued. “But we have been keeping away from mentioning the exclusive contract termination, not because we agree with the news reports.”

However, the girl group did not specify what “the truth” is or what reports are false and in which way. The letter concluded with the members asking people “to stop the excessive criticism and keep an objective view.”

Oscar Jun, CEO of K-pop agency Attrakt at left, and girl group Fifty Fifty [SCREEN CAPTURE]
Oscar Jun, CEO of K-pop agency Attrakt at left, and girl group Fifty Fifty [SCREEN CAPTURE]

Fifty Fifty filed for an injunction on their exclusive contracts with Attrakt in June, claiming that they had been unfairly treated by the company and their income had not been properly distributed to the members despite the enormous success of their 2022 dance track “Cupid.”

Attrakt, on the other hand, argued that “an outside party” was trying to poach the members of the company. The agency’s CEO Oscar Jun later revealed that the outside party was Warner Music Korea and that the quartet’s producer Ahn Sung-il was working with Warner against his back.

Ahn is the CEO of The Givers, the production company that was in charge of Fifty Fifty’s music and management. Attrakt reported Ahn and three others at The Givers for breach of trust on June 27 and the girl group members announced the next day that they filed for an injunction to the court.

The public has been siding with Jun and Attrakt, calling the members “icon of betrayal” and the “golden goose that disemboweled itself” since the legal brawl began.

The logo of K-pop agency Attrakt, home to girl group Fifty Fifty, on Aug. 17 [YONHAP]
The logo of K-pop agency Attrakt, home to girl group Fifty Fifty, on Aug. 17 [YONHAP]

On Thursday, the members of Fifty Fifty also reported Jun to the police for breach of trust, claiming he made wrongful use of the company’s budget to pay off debt rather than invest in the band.

The quartet reported Attrakt CEO Oscar Jun to the Seoul Gangnam Police Station for violating the Act On The Aggravated Punishment Of Specific Economic Crimes by misplacing the company’s money he received from outside investors.

Fifty Fifty argued that Jun used some 2 billion won ($1.5 million) to pay off debt for StarCrew ENT, an agency that the band’s four members had previously been signed to as trainees before transitioning to Attrakt in July 2021.

Jun is also the CEO of StarCrew ENT but he founded Attrakt in June 2021 for Fifty Fifty’s debut.

According to the members, Jun received 9 billion won as an investment from music distributor Interpark in August 2020 under StarCrew ENT’s name, but the amount was paid with Fifty Fifty’s income when the girl group is not signed to StarCrew ENT.

“This is a breach of trust and can be seen as a crime that has caused damage to Attrakt,” Fifty Fifty said.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]