SM Entertainment CEO Chris Lee released a shocking video accusing the company's founder of tax evasion and delaying the return of Esper's album.
Chris Lee, born Lee Sung-soo, attacked his uncle Lee Soo-man in a 30-minute video uploaded to his YouTube channel on Thursday .
In a video released as part of the series, he made a series of pompous statements, saying, "We cannot see any entity controlled by Lee So Man as a member of SMM Entertainment."
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According to Chris, Lee So-man founded City Planning (CTP) Ltd., a Hong Kong manufacturing company, in 2010. Since its inception in 2019, it has been involved in tax evasion by offshore companies.
Chris said CTP will receive 6% of SM Entertainment's earnings before sharing them with overseas distributors.
The CEO compared the deal to SMS from Lee So-Man's other private company Like Planning, which generates up to 6% of SMS's annual revenue from products and consulting services. As such, it has raised over $109 million over the past 20 years.
"The contract between SM Entertainment and Like Planning expired in 2014 and 2021, and SM Entertainment owes Koreans trillions in tax refunds," he said. As of December 31, 2022, SM has retired from Like Planning but remains associated with CTP.
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Kris also signed a consulting contract with Lee So-man SM to legitimize his activities and a separate contract with CTP to promote other artists.
He also claims that Lee So Man underestimated earnings reports to show the label needs his leadership to turn a profit.
Chris also accused Lee So-man of delaying the return of Espe's album, due for a February 20 release, due to the members' tears .
The K-pop quartet of Karina, Winter, Ninning and Gisele has become synonymous with the SM Metaverse concept. However, Lee So-man led the company's artist and repertoire team, as well as longtime collaborator of producer and singer Yoo Young-jin, to incorporate sustainability considerations and elements into SMS artists' songs .
The lyrics of the already canceled ASP song contained phrases like "downgrade". Keywords in English songs are "sustainability" and "sustainability".
' These words, which have nothing to do with K-pop, pop up here and there throughout the song. There's even a "plant trees" at the beginning of the song, says Chris. "The ESP members were so upset they choked [in tears]."
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He said that Lee Soo-man's interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives stems from private real estate deals and casino programs that allow people to use marijuana .
On Thursday , Lee So Man responded to the video posting of Kris but did not comment on the specific allegations.
I have watched my late wife's nephew grow up since he was 4 years old. He has been managing fans with me since he joined SM Entertainment at the age of 19. He is a kind nephew who grew up in a family whose father was a priest. I am very sad.
The family split follows HYBE, which includes K-pop groups such as BTS, SEVENTEEN, LE SSERAFIM and NewJeans, which became SM Entertainment's largest shareholder with a 14.8% stake last week after buying 3.5 million shares .
HYBE offered to acquire an additional 25% stake from minority shareholders.
HYBE's actions caused controversy among netizens and some SMS employees. HYBE CEO Park Ji Won said his company will "ensure" SM maintains its independence .
HYBE also denied Chris' claims that the company knew about CTP, stating that it didn't care about Lee Soo Man's actions.
"What we have heard over the past few days is none other than the past issues of Lee and SM management and will not affect the transparency of HYBE and SM management going forward," Park wrote in an email on Friday. For HYBE employees.
In addition, HYBE stated that problems could arise, offshore deals were "absolutely impossible" and Lee So-man could terminate the contract with CTP since no business relationship with SMS was a condition of the contract . HYBE becomes majority shareholder.