Wa$$up‘s Nada, Jinju and Dain have filed lawsuits to terminate their contracts with agency Mafia Records. Both sides have responded to the lawsuit with statements.
After four years together as Wa$$up, the three members are aiming to terminate their contracts with Mafia Records. Nada has been speaking on behalf of the members leaving and addressed the press, while Hong Sung Yong from Mafia Records spoke on their behalf.
Once initial reports revealed that Nada was filing lawsuit against the company, Mafia Records released a statement that the three girls had not paid back the agency for debts incurred from training them.
On February 2, Hong Sung Yong addressed the press once more to go further in depth into the issue at hand.
“It is very unfortunate that Nada, Jinji and Dain have decided to submit a contract dismissal and leave Wa$$up and the Mafia Records family. With them leaving, Wa$$up will be composed of four members: Sujin, Jiae, Wooju and Nari. They had all been preparing for their comeback tirelessly and to have an issue come down like this is so unfortunate.
Wa$$up was gearing towards a March comeback along with Nada and the other members. We had finished recording two new songs, prepared the album’s thematic direction and were near completion for the upcoming comeback. I feel very sorry for the remaining members to have such bad news when we were almost done.
Nada, after wrapping up ‘Unpretty Rapstar 3, asked for the group’s financial statements to see the earnings in detail. I personally met her and handed her the statements around September 2016. The statements showed every expense incurred by the group, all income earned along with the relevant receipts. Nada said the income did not make sense in relation to her solo activities along with the group’s activities. What she must understand is that during the 3 years or so Wa$$up has been promoting, there was no solid income so the debt was intact. Also, the amount isn’t very large compared to other company idols.
I worked as a manger for 18 years and with the money I saved, created Mafia Records and Wa$$up. I believed that even though the company and the group were struggling – with our hope for a better future together, we all could have been happy. It is sad to hear that they want to leave for the wrong reasons.”
– Mafia Records’ Hong Sung Yong
With the new statement made by Mafia Records’ director, Nada talked to the press to counter the statements made by Director Hong.
Nada said that she, along with the other members, were not motivated to leave for financial reasons.
The real reasons were that her trust in the company had been broken. According to Nada, there had been a lack of transparency and this made Nada, Jinju, and Dain lose trust in the company. On the same day, Nada made this official statement through an interview with the press.
“I did not file the lawsuit because of money. It’s not because of financial reasons. People seem to think that I am trying to terminate my contract because I gained some popularity with “Unpretty Rapstar 3” but that’s far from the truth. I asked for financial statements before I even went on that show along with every member of Wa$$up. If I was looking out for my interests, I would not have filed a joint lawsuit with Jinju and Dain.
Every time I asked for the statements, the company would tell me the company was in a bad situation and I trusted them to show them to me later. They were my company so I believed them and patiently waited. The reason I wanted the financial statements was because I wanted to see if the expenses and earnings were being calculated correctly in accordance to our original contracts. I received the statements for the first time after 3 years from my debut date and I was shocked at the state of the statements.
The statements we received were convoluted and not transparent at all. They weren’t made monthly and were all out of order. The documents omitted many earnings, contained personal expenses made by the director and other expenses that were irrelevant to the group. According to our original contract, expenses such as investments, employee salaries and personal expenses by the Director should not be counted against our earnings. The contract says the only expenses that would be count against our earnings were: food, housing, styling and transportation.”
Each member roughly owes $65,000 to the company. Yes, it’s true that compared to other companies, the debt is not large. But without the supporting documents, I can’t believe it in face-value. Because the first statements were incomplete, I asked for a re-evaluated statement with more information but the debt was larger in the updated statement. There were expenses for lessons that we never received and now I believe our debt statement isn’t fully accurate.
Wa$$up’s comeback was announced to be slated for March 2017 and I find that weird. The song that was picked for our comeback was recorded early 2016 and if March was really the comeback date, there would’ve been preparations made. There was zero mention of a choreography being prepared or music video production being scheduled. The remaining members are all young and they might find the whole situation they’re faced with as daunting. I understand their wishes to stay in the company. All the members have no ill-feelings towards each other, we are all friends.
I wanted to resolve all these legal matters in the background but it was impossible and now I’m a public target. I contacted Director Hong before all of this went public to solve matters internally. He never replied so I had no choice to take legal action and take this to court.
At first I had dreams as to what I wanted to do after I left the company but now I’m not sure about my future. I just want to resolve the current issue and see what happens. Future companies will probably be cautious to sign me due to this issue and that bothers me as well.
– Wa$$up Nada
Mafia Records also held a crowdfunding campaign where the group was able to fundraise $12,309.04 with a promise of an album comeback in August 2016. Both sides show no sign of backing down and are sticking firmly with their statements. As of February 3, there is still no word as to when court proceedings will happen.