Former EXO member Tao on Friday lost his contract nullification lawsuit against SM Entertainment. Reports reveal that the Seoul Central District Court has denied the 24-year-old singer's request to terminate his management contract with his former agency.
Tao filed the lawsuit in August 2015 shortly after he left EXO and SM Entertainment, following fellow Chinese members Kris and Luhan who had left the agency at that time.
According to Yonhap News, Tao claimed in his complaint that his contract with SM Entertainment had unjust terms. SM Entertainment countered that there was no legal issue with his contract and that it was based on a standard contract provided by the Fair Trade Commission.
However, fans claimed that Tao's lawsuit against SM Entertainment is more than just about his unjust contract. Many shared photos evidencing that Tao was forced to perform and do public appearances despite having several injuries and being sick.
Both parties entered a court-suggested mediation last year, but did not arrive at an agreement or a compromise.
SM Entertainment has been in a heated legal battle against Tao, Kris and Luhan who left EXO and the agency without its approval. SM also argued that the singers' engaged in activities with other companies without SM Entertainment's approval and while their contract with the agency subsists. SM contended that Tao couldn't carry out other activities while his contract remained valid.
According to Soompi, a Chinese court ruled in favor of Tao, saying that he holds the right to use his own name and portrait while pursuing activities in China. The court further ruled that his exclusive contract with SM Entertainment did not apply.
SM Entertainment, however, won one lawsuit against Tao in January 2016, which demanded for the repayment of temporary funds with interest from the singer.