A lawsuit filed by Richard Simmons has resulted in criminal charges being filed against a private investigator for allegedly spying on the reclusive fitness guru by planting a tracking device on the car of Simmons’ caretaker.
After losing his defamation lawsuit against the National Enquirer over its reports that he was transitioning into a woman, fitness guru Richard Simmons launched a lawsuit in early June, with TMZ reporting the reclusive celeb — who hasn’t been seen in public since 2014 — sued P.I. Brian Scott Matthews, alleging he put a tracking device on the car of Simmons’ caretaker, Teresa Reveles, in order to keep tabs on his comings and goings (Simmons reportedly relies on Reveles for transportation).
In his suit, Simmons is claiming that Matthews’ tracking device was attached to Reveles’ car for more than a year. The suit further alleges that the P.I. has used a minimum of 17 other tracking devices to follow a dozen other celebrities.
Simmons, who recently turned 70, is also alleging that when he and Reveles discovered the tracking device, he began experiencing “mental anguish, anxiety, feeling of powerlessness, frustration and humiliation.”
In the wake of Simmons’ lawsuit, TMZ is now reporting that criminal charges have been filed against Matthews, who faces two charges of unlawfully using a tracking device.
According to TMZ, prosecutors say that Matthews planted the device on Reveles’ car in order to shadow Simmons and see if he was visiting to doctors or hospitals.
Meanwhile, Simmons is currently appealing the judge’s decision to toss his defamation suit against the Enquirer and Radar Online after suing the tabloid and the website over its stories claiming Simmons is transitioning from male to female, and now goes by the name Fiona.
In his decision, the judge in the case didn’t address the veracity of the Enquirer‘s reports; instead, he rule that calling someone transgender — even if that person is not — does not fit the legal definition of defamation, which requires a statement to engender “hatred, contempt, ridicule or obloquy.”
Simmons was subsequently ordered to pay Radar and the Enquirer $130,000 to cover their court costs associated with defending his lawsuit.