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Russell Simmons-founded All Def Digital denies closure rumours

By | Published on Tuesday 9 July 2019

Russell Simmons

The entertainment business set up by one-time hip hop mogul Russell Simmons in 2013, All Def Digital, has denied reports that it is closing down. Although its CEO has admitted that a “major restructuring” is underway ahead of a “strategic deal”.

Originally set up as a YouTube-centric management and label-style business, All Def Digital has expanded its activities over the years, with content production, live event and brand partnership divisions. At launch, Simmons’ personal reputation in the music industry and large network of contacts played a key role in growing the business.

However, Simmons ended his active involvement in the venture in late 2017 after various women went public with allegations of sexual assault against him. He continues to deny all of those allegations, one of which is still subject to litigation.

Last week the website Tubefilter reported that All Def Digital was basically shutting down. Citing various anonymous sources, it said that following broad layoffs at the company, an advisory firm was now in the building “divvy[ing] up assets” of the business.

But All Def Digital’s CEO Chris Blackwell has now denied those reports saying, in a short statement, that “we are reorganising the company in advance of a strategic deal”. It remains unclear what that means exactly, though presumably more information will follow at some point soon.

According to Variety, not only did Simmons stop actively working with All Def Digital in 2017, but he hasn’t had an ownership interest in the business since 2018 either.