Thanks to a provocative podcast titled “Missing Richard Simmons” — focused on why the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” fitness guru hasn’t been seen in public for years — there’s a sudden renewed interest in exactly what’s going on with Richard Simmons.
Simmons had been a frequent talk show guest since the 1980s, but the recent reclusiveness of the once ubiquitous star has made him the subject of numerous rumours, including that he’s being held hostage by his longtime housekeeper and another that theorized he’s been transitioning to a woman, and is now calling himself Fiona.
While these rumours have all been denied by Simmons’ rep, LAPD officers paid a visit to Simmons’ home for a “welfare check” and report that the 68-year-old celeb is “perfectly fine.”
Detective Kevin Becker spoke with People and confirmed that officers visited Simmons’ home, stating that rumours Simmons is being held hostage are simply not true.
“There was something about his housekeeper holding him hostage and not allowing people to see him and preventing him from making phone calls and it was all garbage and that’s why we went out to see him. None of it is true,” Becker tells People. “The fact of the matter is we went out and talked to him he is fine, nobody is holding him hostage. He is doing exactly what he wants to do. If he wants to go out in public or see anybody he will do that.”
Added Becker: “He is perfectly fine and he is very happy. I don’t know what he is going to do, but right now he is doing what he wants to do and it is his business.”
Simmons, who has not been seen outside of his home since February 2014, “was very nice,” says the detective. “He was very cordial. He couldn’t have been nicer to us.”
Earlier this week, Simmons’ rep Tom Estey refuted reports his client was being held hostage.
“He made a choice to take a break from public life, which he has the right to do. People need to respect that and not surmise that there’s something wrong, when there’s nothing wrong,” said Estey.
“For 40 years, he took care of everyone else but himself,” he adds. “And so it’s not that he’s being selfish, he’s just being a person, a regular person, taking care of himself.”