Where Is Richard Simmons?

Where is exercise fanatic Richard Simmons?

Simmons has been out of sight for nearly an entire year, TMZ reports.

And he hasn’t just disappeared from the public eye. The so-called “fitness guru” hasn’t even shown up to his famous Beverly Hills studio Slimmons, either. The studio has always been a passion of Richard’s, and he has always regularly taught classes there. The staff at the studio did not offer any reason behind his strange and prolonged absence.

Even his friends report that Simmons has gone “radio silent” with them. Simmons is neither accepting nor returning any phone calls, and his housekeeper has turned away all potential visitors.

Last January was the last time Richard Simmons was seen publicly, at a charity event.

One source, a person who is extremely close to Simmons and is one of the few people he remains in contact with, reported to TMZ that Richard has a physical problem that has led to a deep depression.

The diagnosis? A bum knee that needs to be surgically replaced. The doctors have told Richard that if he doesn’t get the knee replacement surgery, he will never be able to exercise again.

But the source told TMZ that Richard is absolutely terrified of the surgery, and has been been avoiding the prospect the entire year. Apparently, Simmons even attempted stem cell therapy and red blood platelet therapy, in treatments similar to what Kobe Bryant had done, but both treatments failed.

Richard had his right knee replaced four years ago. That surgery he managed to dodge for nearly a decade because he was so terrified.

Apparently, Richard is so incredibly scared of the upcoming surgery that it has left him paralyzed by a deep depression, causing him to become incredibly reclusive over the past year.

Other friends of Simmons, as well as some business associated, reported that they aren’t buying the knee story. They believe something more serious is going on with Simmons that has caused him to shut everyone out and shut himself in.

It certainly doesn’t sound like the Richard Simmons the public has come to know and love. Simmons has always been an eccentric personality, outgoing and certainly energetic, as his Sweatin’ to the Oldies shows can certainly attest. He’s been an actor on several shows and movies, a frequent guest on late night shows, and a talk show host. He even made an adorable in-flight video for Air New Zealand.

But mostly, Simmons is known as a fitness expert who has led countless people to a healthier lifestyle over the years, though his aerobics programs and dietary lessons.

It just seems unfortunate that a man who has devoted his life to helping others live healthy may be dismissing his own health out of fear.

[Image via rapgenius.com]