Fans React to Richard Simmons’ First Public Statement in 5 Years

·3 min read
Fans React to Richard Simmons’ First Public Statement in 5 Years


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  • Richard Simmons made his first public statement to fans in five years.

  • The statement surfaced on the heels of the release of TMZ’s new documentary, What Really Happened to Richard Simmons.

  • The exercise mogul disappeared from the spotlight in 2014.

Before there was Peloton and YouTube at-home workouts, there was Richard Simmons and Sweatin’ to the Oldies—a series of best-selling VHS tapes that made exercise fun and accessible to the masses. After years of leading the fitness world, in 2014, the beloved leg warmer enthusiast closed his studio and seemingly disappeared from the public eye. A new TMZ documentary, What Really Happened to Richard Simmons, investigated his retreat, prompting the guru to make his first statement to fans in five years.

The documentary premiered on August 22 on Hulu and FOX, and on August 24, Simmons made a rare update to his public Facebook page. “Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and love!” the 74-year-old wrote, sharing an image of a smiley face holding a ‘Thank You’ sign. “Love, Richard.” Simmons’ rep, Tom Estey, confirmed to The New York Post that the message was personally composed by the star, adding that he is doing well.

“Richard is eternally grateful for the continuous outpouring of love and gratitude he has received from across the globe,” Estey continued. “He is happy, healthy and living the life he has chosen to live.”

Fans were elated by Simmons’ broken silence. The post amassed 40,000 reactions and over 6,000 comments. Many shared photos of their own meet-and-greets with him. “Thank YOU. I always felt like I had a pal growing up because of you,” one person commented. “We’re so happy you’re well! Miss you so much,” another added. “You have been such a wonderful human, with so much compassion and care for so many people. The world loves you,” someone else wrote.

Simmons last publicly addressed fans in 2017 to let them know he was “under the weather” after being admitted to the hospital for “severe indigestion,” his manager said at the time. He also refuted rising speculation that he had gone missing.

“Hello to everyone who has shown concern for me and sent their good wishes. You will never know how much it means to me. Aren’t you sick of hearing and reading about me?! LOL,” he said in a statement, per People. “Well by now you know that I’m not ‘missing,’ just a little under the weather. I’m sure I will be feeling good and back home in a couple of days.”

Photo credit: EVAN HURD PHOTOGRAPHY - Getty Images
Photo credit: EVAN HURD PHOTOGRAPHY - Getty Images

In Simmons’ near decade out of the spotlight, theories around his absence have swirled, even culminating in a popular podcast, Missing Richard Simmons. The TMZ documentary, however, alleges that knee problems ultimately peeled him away from the gym.

“Doctors told him back in 2014, around the time he disappeared, that he needed a left knee replacement,” the doc claims, per FOX. “And if he didn’t get one, he might never be able to exercise again. Now, this is key to the disappearance of Richard Simmons. The prospect of surgery, of becoming sedentary, caused Richard to sink into a deep depression.”

The documentary goes on to allege that Simmons wants to be remembered as the energetic fitness icon he was pre-surgery, which is why he’s chosen to remain private. Simmons himself, however, has not publicly confirmed or denied such claims.

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