Fans love Richard Simmons for his can-do attitude, motivational workouts and sparkly tank tops. However, many followers are now worrying about the fitness guru's disappearance from the public eye. A new podcast called Missing Richard Simmons has people wondering if the beloved celebrity is a prisoner in his own home.
According to creator Dan Taberski, Simmons hasn't appeared in public in almost 1,100 days. Taberski previously took classes at the fitness instructor's gym, Slimmons, but its namesake stopped teaching and later closed the Beverly Hills studio. Once a frequent guest on late night shows, radio programs and TV commercials, Simmons has simply vanished.
"I thought it was just me and then I learned he wasn't returning anyone's calls and he taught his last class in February 2014," Taberski told People.
On the most recent episode, Simmons's longtime friend and masseuse Mauro Oliveira shared his theory. Oliveira visited his client's home in May 2014, three months after he cut off contact, and experienced a troubling interaction. "He was sitting in the living room, and he was very weak, physically and mentally. He was trembling. He said, 'Mauro. I called you here because we cannot see each other anymore. I'm just going to stay here,'" Oliveira said. "I thought the worst was going to happen. I thought he was suicidal."
The former employee then alleged that Simmons's housekeeper Teresa Reveles is holding him hostage against his will. "She realized that I was in the house, she started screaming like a witch, 'No no no no, get out, get out! I don't want him here!' Richard looked at me and said, 'You got to go.' I said, 'Really? Is she controlling your life now?' and he said yes. And that I have to leave."
Taberski and Oliveira's concerns aren't new. The mystery of Richard Simmons attracted attention last year, prompting a post on his official Facebook account. Simmons also called into the TODAY show to reassure his fans.
"I just sort of wanted to be a little bit of a loner for a little while," he told Savannah Guthrie. "I had hurt my knee, and I had some problems with it, and then the other knee started giving me trouble because I've taught like thousands and thousands of classes, and you know right now I just want to sort of take care of me."
As for his housekeeper, "Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years," he said. "It's almost like we're a married couple."
In light of the new podcast, Simmons's representative Tom Estey is denying the controversial claims. "Theresa is the housekeeper, she's the caretaker, she is extraordinary, she is amazing, she takes impeccable care of Richard and she has for as long as I have been working with Richard," he told People. "Richard made a choice to live a more private life. If he decides to come back, he'll come back."
If that really is the case, the growing concern over Simmons is only taking away from his privacy, Rolling Stone points out. Fans can only wait and see if their beloved role model will speak out again.
You Might Also Like