Sleepy Reveals Chat Records With TS Entertainment About Financial Dealings
Sleepy’s public legal dispute with his former agency, TS Entertainment, continues.
On September 23, Sleepy revealed chat records between him and staff members at TS Entertainment, as well as a copy of his exclusive contract, through Dispatch.
In April of this year, Sleepy submitted a request to confirm the invalidity of his exclusive contract with TS Entertainment. A month later, he filed a request to suspend his exclusive contract and claimed that the agency had never provided documentation of payments.
TS Entertainment denied the claims and in June, the court rejected Sleepy’s request. In August, the court mediated an agreement between the two parties to part ways. Sleepy has since set up his own agency. However, TS Entertainment has now accused Sleepy of embezzlement, which Sleepy has denied.
According to Dispatch’s documents, Sleepy and TS Entertainment’s first contract together was signed on October 10, 2008. The contract period was seven years and the payment ratio was 1:9 (Sleepy would get 10 percent of profits and the agency would get 90 percent). This payment ratio was applied to Sleepy’s net profits, which means that the cost of his entertainment industry promotions was subtracted from his total profits before payments were made.
The payment ratio was 1:9 in the areas of music, film, drama, and events, but 5:5 (50 percent both ways) in the area of advertisements. The contract also stated that after the third studio album, the artist’s profit division in the area of music would rise to 20 percent (payment ratio of 2:8).
Dispatch reported that Sleepy eventually fell into debt to cover his daily expenses, borrowing 1.1 million won (about $900) every month for three years. In one incident, his former manager stole the advance payment that TS Entertainment had made to cover Sleepy’s event costs. TS Entertainment blamed the manager and did not return this payment to Sleepy. It was not until he was six years into his contract that Sleepy finally received his first bonus.
Dispatch additionally reported that Sleepy and TS Entertainment signed a contract extension on February 1, 2016. The down payment on this contract extension was 120 million won (about $100,000). TS Entertainment paid 5 million won (about $4000) in advance and promised to pay the rest in 2 million won (about $1600) installments every month.
The payment ratio was revised for this new contract, with 45 percent going to Sleepy and 55 percent going to TS Entertainment. According to an annex agreement, Sleepy was also to get 60 percent of profits from his TV and radio appearances. He was also to receive 40 percent of net profits from his commercial appearances.
However, Sleepy continued to struggle to meet daily expenses, including water, gas, and electricity for his home. His rent also got pushed back to the point where he was told to leave his house by the landlord. The issue was the monthly installment of his down payment that TS Entertainment had promised to make. TS Entertainment was highly inconsistent with the payments and would often skip one month and pay twice the next month.
According to the chat records that Dispatch obtained, Sleepy often had to directly petition his agency about his monthly payments. He also told them about his household financial problems and provided photo evidence. Moreover, Dispatch pointed out that a down payment on a contract should have been made when the contract was signed, not paid in monthly installments.
Sleepy has claimed in his lawsuit that the agency overcalculated his expenses and undercalculated his profits. He stated that in the past 13 years, he had made about 200 million won (about $167,000). Excluding bonuses and down payments, he made about 120 million won (about $100,000). This comes to less than 10 million won (about $8000) per year.
TS Entertainment, meanwhile, alleges that Sleepy made money through Instagram advertisements without sharing this knowledge with his agency. Sleepy contends that he talked about this on “Radio Star” and that his agency was aware of his sponsorship activities.