Richard Simmons is back, and he’s suing media outlets for reporting and spreading false theories as to why he went missing more than three years ago.
— Michael Smerconish (@smerconish) May 12, 2017
Richard Simmons fell out of the public eye in February 2014, and no one knew what Richard Simmons was up to.
There has been a plethora of reports claiming Richard Simmons had undergone a “sex change” surgery, was transitioning, receiving breast implants and medical castration, as well as being held hostage by his female housekeeper.
Although Richard Simmons had remained silent all these years, even while defamatory reports about him circulated, the fitness guru is finally back, and he’s suing multiple publications theorizing as to why Simmons went missing three years ago and trying to gain profit from reporting false and bizarre claims.
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) May 10, 2017
Richard Simmons resurfaced on Monday and immediately went to the Los Angeles Superior Court to file a lawsuit against American Media, Radar Online, LLC., and National Enquirer for four counts of libel and one count of invasion of privacy, according to E! News.
In the past 12 months, several publications – namely National Enquirer and Radar Online – have kept spreading the hoax theory claiming that Richard Simmons was busy undergoing “shocking sex surgery,” referring to him as “the new Caitlyn Jenner,” and alleging that the fitness guru was “living as a gal named Fiona.”
As apparent evidence, the publications published a series of photographs showing Richard Simmons wearing dresses and wigs; but die-hard fans of the fitness guru called the media’s bluff as they knew Simmons is no stranger to appearing in public wearing outrages outfits, and that the photographs had been taken years ago.
— Samatha ????????♀️ (@Samathacxc) May 1, 2017
Richard Simmons, who insists he did not undergo any “shocking sex surgeries,” is suing the publications for “cruel and malicious” reports, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as a retraction of the reports, apology, and injunction, as seen from the court documents.
Just hours after Richard Simmons’s lawsuit surfaced on the Internet, National Enquirer and Radar Online issued a statement to defend themselves, calling Simmons a “hypocrite” for claiming that his privacy has been invaded “when his entire livelihood is based upon the public consumption of his image.”
The publications also defended their decision to scrutinize Richard Simmons’s disappearance from the public eye, calling it “a legitimate news story that demands coverage,” before adding that their reports were “based on credible sources who were in Mr. Simmons’ inner circle.”
Richard Simmons’s lawsuit also targeted the alleged sources cited in the publications over the years, namely the fitness guru’s former associate Mauro Oliveira, who allegedly gave the publications such as Radar Online the false information that Simmons was “frail, weak, and spiritually broken,” transitioning from male to female and being held hostage by his housekeeper.
— 106.7 Lite fm (@1067Litefm) April 29, 2017
But Richard Simmons claims in his lawsuit that Oliveira for years “blackmailed, extorted, and stalked” him since May 2015, with the aim to “destroy [his] career and reputation.”
“Mr. Oliveira contacted the National Enquirer on at least three separate occasions offering three separate stories as to why Mr. Simmons has been absent from the media in the past few years.”
In fact, some of the rumors spread by Oliveira through the publications were repeated on Dan Taberski’s popular podcast, Missing Richard Simmons.
Richard Simmons’s lawsuit claims that Oliveira threatened to destroy the fitness guru’s reputation “with damaging press coverage unless Mr. Simmons paid Mr. Oliveira to stop.”
Oliveira was quick to defend himself on Monday, calling Richard Simmons’s allegations in the lawsuit “false,” and saying that “the real story” about the fitness guru and his mysterious disappearance “will come out eventually,” according to People magazine.
[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]