Richard Simmons, the famous weight loss expert who made the 1980s video Sweating with the Oldies, has not left his home in over a year, and several of his former friends believe he is being held against his will. Longtime friend and personal assistant Mauro Oliveria told the New York Daily News a very strange tale, that was collaborated at least to a degree by several of Simmons friends.
Richard Simmons became suddenly inaccessible to nearly everyone he knew. That much has been thoroughly documented. Oliveria claimed that Richard is being held against his will by his brother, his manager, and his housekeeper in some sort of conspiracy involving witchcraft practiced by the housekeeper.
Oliveria says Richard Simmons is uncharacteristically frail, gaunt, lethargic, and apparently indecisive. From there, his story becomes even more strange. Oliveria says Simmons claimed he is being controlled by his housekeeper. Oliveria adds that the housekeeper is a witch that put a spell on Richard, forcing him to become reclusive and turn against his friends, or at least turn them away. Oliveria also claims that Richard told him they could not see each other anymore.
"I don't know, I just want to be by myself, and I want to be in the house, and we're never going to see each other again."
It seems Richard Simmons has become the subject of Mauro Oliveria's new ebook, King Rich and the Evil Witch. The book is a highly stylized and fictionalized version of Rich's allegedly strange situation with his housekeeper, as observed by Oliveria. The book, only available as an ebook, sells for $29.99 and has 51 pages. Readers can get a peek at it on Amazon with the "look inside" feature to see if it gives them a clue as to why Oliveria might be claiming Simmons has been abducted by a witch. Could book sales be a motivation for the strange interview, or are the book and the interview all part of Oliveria trying to re-establish a relationship with Richard? Could the book be a giveaway that something is a bit fishy about Oliveria's concern for Simmons?
Richard Simmons has made a statement, but maybe he has Stockholm syndrome. Anyway, he says he is just fine and has not been kidnapped. Of course, if he is really under the control of an evil witch, perhaps he would say something like that. Readers may choose to believe it or not, but Richard says he is fine. At any rate, he is a grown man and has the legal right to choose his friends and his caretakers, even if his other friends, now feeling rejected, call them witches.
Richard Simmons received a welfare visit last week from police after Oliveria called to report potential elder abuse. Police told TMZ that Richard seems just fine. He was lucid and seemed to be okay. Richard told police he was exhausted after 40 years of public life but otherwise just fine.
"I just want to spend time with myself,"
Richard Simmons first explained in 2014 that he was depressed over a knee injury that prevents him from working out and also because his dog died. That is probably the last time Simmons made any sort of pubic statement until yesterday, so can we assume this fact still applies? Does his knee still hurt? Apparently so, or at least his other knee does.
Richard Simmons gave a statement to ET producer Brad Bessey last night, explaining that now his other knee could have to be replaced, and he is anxious about that. Otherwise, he is just fine. He says he still weighs 150 pounds, he isn't any thinner or fatter than he was, and he still manages to work out.
"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. I love all the people who worry about me, but it was time for me to take some time to be by myself. 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. This is how I want to live my life right now, 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 now told us he is not really held against his will. He just wants to be alone.
[Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]