This story contains references to alleged sexual harassment.
OMEGA X has filed a request to terminate its contract with SPIRE Entertainment and said it will be charging the agency’s ex-CEO with “threatening, assaulting and exploiting” the group.
The K-pop boy band, along with their legal representatives, held a press conference today (November 16) to address their ongoing controversy with SPIRE Entertainment. During the conference, OMEGA X’s lawyers told the media that the group would be filing charges against the label’s former CEO, Kang Seong-hee, for her alleged mistreatment of the group TenAsia.
“We will proceed with the indictment of the former CEO for threatening, assaulting and exploiting members,” the band’s lawyers said, according to a translation of Koreaboo. “First of all, we will request the termination of the exclusive contract for OMEGA X’s activities.” OMEGA X has so far requested termination of the contract, it said, and plans to seek compensation at a later date.
Elsewhere during the press conference, the 11 members of OMEGA X also personally made allegations of acts of abuse, including sexual harassment, inflicted on them during Kang’s tenure as CEO, per YTN.
“CEO Kang forced me to drink some alcohol after a workout and before leaving work and made sexual comments. [She] regularly sexually assaulted me by touching my thighs and face,” claimed leader Jaehan. “She [also] Made offensive statements such as death threats. She also left members shaking with fear as she told us she was going to make an extreme decision.”
Adding to Jaehan’s claims, OMEGA X’s attorney said, “There have occasionally been allegations of sexual harassment, but there has also been physical contact, like touching thighs while drinking and bringing your face close enough to hear breathing.” Lawyers for OMEGA X issued a statement earlier this week (November 14) claiming they had “video evidence from [sexual] harassment”, acc koreaboos translations.
Allegations of abuse of the K-pop band by the CEO of SPIRE Entertainment first surfaced late last month after OMEGA X wrapped up their Connect: Don’t Give Up tour of the US. The Media House SBS News released video clips purporting to show Kang verbally abusing and abusing the band both outside of a concert hall and in their Los Angeles hotel lobby.
At the time, Kang denied the allegations SBS and SPIRE Entertainment later released a statement saying the members of OMEGA X and the agency had “cleared all their misunderstandings.”
During the press conference, member Junghoon said that after this incident in LA and the group’s return to Korea, “we feel that we don’t need to receive a sincere apology just yet.” Instead, he claimed Kang “brought up our military duties and threatened us with a fake bank statement” which, according to OMEGA X’s lawyers, claimed that each member of the band owed the company between £300million and £400million ( approx £190,940 to £254,000).
NME has contacted SPIRE Entertainment for comment on the allegations made during the OMEGA X press conference. Neither SPIRE nor Kang have commented on this yet.
About a week after the videos of OMEGA X and Kang first circulated online in Los Angeles, the band independently of their agency launched an Instagram page where they shared a group statement denouncing “unfair treatment” of SPIRE and “Pressure” from the agency concerned claimed their ability to speak on social media.
SPIRE Entertainment later released an official apology in which it also announced the resignation of the “CEO in charge of this matter,” allegedly Kang, although she was not named. Kang is reportedly the wife of SPIRE Entertainment chairman Hwang Sung-woo.
OMEGA X’s claims in today’s press conference add to other claims reported by SBS last week, alleging that Kang acted “power-inducing” towards the band and that the agency tricked its members into hiding positive COVID-19 test results and continuing to perform.
It was reported yesterday that OMEGA X have applied to trademark their group name and other related phrases in an apparent attempt to secure their ability to promote as a band regardless of their future with SPIRE Entertainment.