Richard Simmons Speaks Out, Fitness Guru Reveals The Real Reason Why He Hasn’t been Seen In Public In Years

Richard Simmons has made a statement about his whereabouts following reports that he has been kidnapped. In an exclusive phone interview with Entertainment Tonight, Simmons said he purposely stepped out of the spotlight to take care of himself following a knee injury. The 67-year-old fitness fanatic also assured fans that he is being cared for by “wonderful people,” and that he is not being held against his will, despite the fact that he has not been seen in public since December, 2013, at a comedy show in Los Angeles.

“I am not kidnapped. I am just in my house right now. No one should be worried about me. The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me.”

Richard went on to say that while he loves all of his fans who are worried about him and miss seeing him, it was time for him to take some time for himself. The Sweatin’ To The Oldies guru recounted his long life on the road and a devastating knee injury that set him back.

“For the last 40 years I have been traveling, teaching classes, and I had a knee injury, so I had a knee replacement, which was very difficult for me… I have really just been taking it easy, staying at home, working out in my gym and doing the things I haven’t done in a very long time.”

There have been some rumors that Richards Simmons is hiding out because he has gained a lot of weight. Simmons quickly squashed that story and assured fans that he is living a healthy life just as he always has—he’s just doing it at home.

“I still weigh 150. I work out every day. I have a gym at the house, and I am very healthy.”

My first visit to @HuffPostLive! #lovethiscity #HuffPost #fun #fitness

A photo posted by Richard Simmons (@theweightsaint) on

Richard assured fans that he is living his life the way he wants to right now. While he used to thrive on being in the spotlight, Simmons wants a low-key life now so he can focus on his own health and well being. Simmons also added that if he was in trouble or hurting in any way, he would “reach out” to the public.

“And to all the people that are worried about me, please don’t be. If I was in any trouble, if I was hurting in any way, I would reach out. It is time right now for Richard Simmons to take care of Richard Simmons.”

Richard Simmons has not been seen in public for more than two years, prompting the New York Daily News to publish a scathing report that stated that that Simmons had banished his closest friends from his inner circle and that his life was being controlled by his longtime live-in housekeeper, Teresa Reveles. A former friend accused Simmons of living the past few years “medicated and in bed.”

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A photo posted by Richard Simmons (@theweightsaint) on

In his statement to ET, Simmons now says the Daily News report was very hurtful to him and he crushes its credibility. But rumors about Simmons’ whereabouts have been going on since 2014, when TMZ posted a report saying there was more going on with Simmons than just a knee injury. TMZ’s report claimed Richard stopped attending classes at his famous Beverly Hills fitness studio, and quoted friends as saying Simmons was in a state of depression over his knee surgery. Other friends said they think Richard Simmons has more health issues than just the knee problem.

While Richard Simmons hasn’t been seen in public in years, his social media accounts have stayed active. To set the record straight, Simmons will also speak to the Today Show about what he’s been up to. In a social media post, Simmons wrote that he will be phoning in to the morning show. Some fans commented that they would feel better if they could see him on the show, not just hear his voice. In the ET interview, Simmons promised that he will be back someday.

Take a look at the video to hear Richard Simmons talking to ET about where he has been.

[Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images]