Is Richard Simmons being held against his will? That seems to be the contention asserted by a podcast host, who went in search of the fitness guru after he dropped away from the spotlight. Simmons has been quiet, keeping his face from showing up in tabloids or in the limelight, which normally might mean that Richard simply values his privacy, but Dan Taberski, a podcast host with an interest in Richard Simmons, has asserted that something much more sinister is going on. He’s not alone in his suspicions anymore, either. As his newest show, entitled Missing Richard Simmons, can prove with a growing audience, many are eagerly awaiting confirmation that Simmons is well, safe, and living free.
Is Richard Simmons Being Held Hostage?
As E! News reports, Taberski started Missing Richard Simmons when he noticed that the health and fitness icon had been absent from the public eye for many years and wanted to solve that mystery for his growing audience. It wasn’t until a recent episode that something sinister began to take shape as Simmons’ masseuse Mauro Oliveira made allegations that 68-year-old Richard has been held hostage in his own home.
Oliveira asserts that Teresa Reveles, the household maid, has been holding Simmons captive.
Tom Estey, a rep for Mr. Simmons, says nothing could be further from the truth, however.
“Teresa has been working with him for 27 years. So, holding him hostage is the biggest, I mean…Teresa 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. So that is a complete load of cr–.”
Estey went on to explain that Simmons’ departure from public life wasn’t something sudden or shocking, adding that he had been turning down offers for Richard through a number of years. He says the fitness expert was deliberately trying to reduce his celebrity status with an effort to live a more private and simpler life. He says there may be a day when Simmons will feel up to doing a show or guest appearance, but at this time, there are no plans.
Missing Richard Simmons Host Dan Taberski Isn’t Buying It
While Estey, acting as Richard’s rep, suggests Missing Richard Simmons is disrespectful to his boss, Rolling Stone reports that Dan Taberski, who also claims a friendship with Simmons, says there’s much more going on than a successful celebrity opting for more privacy. Through his fitness programs, television shows, and live appearances, Richard Simmons has created a multi-billion dollar business, and Taberski feels it’s questionable to believe Richard would just abandon all of that.
Dan also insists that Richard’s apparent quest for seclusion was much more sudden than his rep would have the public believe, recalling the first time Simmons chose to ditch an appointment with Taberski on February 15, 2014. Following that, many others reported missed appointments with Richard, proving that it wasn’t just a personal affront to Taberski, but a growing trend.
In attempting to explain his absences, Simmons released a statement in which he said he was simply recovering from a knee injury and would be back to his regular routine as soon as he was healed.
Instead, Simmons continued to disappoint friends and fans, missing scheduled interviews, funerals, and failing to respond to fan letters.
In 2016, Richard Simmons again assured fans and friends that he was just taking some personal time as he phoned in an interview on The Today Show.
Even though it seemed to be Simmons’ own voice assuring fans and friends that he was fine, Taberski pressed on with his investigative podcast, acknowledging that Richard may sue him over the show and insists he was doing the show out of concern for his friend.
On the one hand, it seems questionable that Richard would distance himself from friends as well as from the media and his fanbase, if it was just a matter of retiring. Yet, it may be possible that Richard Simmons, who has stated that he does suffer from mild depression, may just want to unofficially retire and run his business interests from behind the scenes.
In either case, Mr. Simmons may have to make one final appearance just to quell the mysteries surrounding his absence from the limelight.
[Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]