All Def Digital, a youth-oriented digital-content platform owned by Russell Simmons, is on the brink of insolvency.
It was recently revealed that the company has filed for ‘assignment for the benefit of creditors,’ or ABC, a financial maneuver that is similar to, albeit slightly less comprehensive than, bankruptcy.
The news isn’t entirely surprising to those following the fate of All Def Digital, as the previous months and years have brought with them plenty of warning signs. Various freelancers have stated that All Def owes them more than $50,000 in outstanding payments; All Def execs responded to this claim by stating that they intend to pay at some point in the future.
A substantial number of All Def Digital employees were let go earlier this month, and Simmons attempted to put a positive spin on the cuts by claiming that they were part of a strategic plan. Clearly, though, eliminating an abundance of jobs is hardly a sign that a company is performing well.
To make matter worse, Simmons has been accused of sexual assault by seven women and of rape by five women. Though he has denied the accusations, Simmons stepped down from his position at All Def Digital and went as far as fleeing to Indonesia, a nation that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the United States.
If charges are filed against him, Simmons will be able to remain hidden in Indonesia.
The country doesn’t make a habit of harboring criminals, but Simmons’s estimated $340 million net worth will likely be enough to make him an “honorary citizen.”
The situation bears resemblance to Marc Rich, a billionaire businessman who faced multiple charges in the United States and fled to Switzerland in the 1980s. He never returned to America, and he went on to become a citizen of Belgium, Bolivia, Israel, and Spain.
It’s possible that All Def Digital will restructure and pull through, but right now, that outcome doesn’t seem likely. Stay tuned for updates on the situation.