On the morning of May 15, Sina.com reported that “EXO-M’s leader Kris has filed for a termination of his exclusive contract with SM Entertainment.” The article stated that the news had not yet been confirmed, and then listed a few reasons on why Kris might be filing for a nullification of his contract (none of which have been confirmed by Kris or his lawyer thus far).
After that, various Korean news portals announced the same thing, citing Sina as the source of the news. Upon getting in touch with SM Entertainment, it was reported that SM was not even aware of the lawsuit, and that the company had stated that such rumors “are unheard of.”
However, after a few hours, the Seoul District Court confirmed to eNews that they’d received a lawsuit request under Kris’ Chinese name. (The documents pertaining to his lawsuit can be searched on the Court’s website.) They also reported that the Hankyul law firm would be handling the case on behalf of Kris, and that Cho Bum Suk, the same lawyer who represented Hangeng in 2009, would be representing Kris personally. The law firm’s representatives have therefore confirmed that Kris has filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment for a termination of his contract, and they expressed their wish to handle the case as discreetly as possible, without revealing any details to the media.
In response to the Seoul District Court’s confirmation, SM Entertainment stated that they are “still looking into the facts regarding Kris’ request to terminate his contract,” that “it is a rather bewildering situation,” and that they will do their best to ensure that EXO’s activities go on as planned.
On the May 15 episode of M!Countdown, Osen met up with Suho in EXO-K’s waiting room, where they managed to ask him about his opinion on the dispute. Suho stated that he and the other members had a long conversation regarding the lawsuit and that they do not understand Kris’ actions at all. He also stated that Kris’ behavior is “irresponsible” and that he clearly was not thinking of EXO (when he filed the lawsuit). He added that the rest of the members do not have issues with the company, and that Kris should “cancel the lawsuit immediately and apologize to the company and his fellow members.”
Regarding the rest of the members’ reactions, Tao unfollowed Kris on both his Instagram and Weibo account, while Chanyeol, Lay and Luhan unfollowed Kris on Instagram. Sehun posted a picture of a question mark on his Instagram with the caption “…” while Chanyeol posted a photo of EXO’s logo with the caption “encourage the good, punish the evil.” Tao, however, posted this picture with the following message attached:
He posted the same message on Weibo and stressed that it was indeed he who wrote it:
Finally, Tao’s last Weibo update:
Off the record: this is all we really know so far. There are still many things left unconfirmed. What we know for sure is that, yes, Kris has filed a lawsuit against SM Entertainment. The reasons behind this remain undisclosed. Do not buy into the rumors and conspiracy theories you find online. Trust that Kris and EXO will be able to pull through this and that everything will turn out well, whatever the outcome may be.