Richard Simmons is not depressed, nor is he isolating himself from society or even being held against his will at home, according to the fitness instructor’s press rep, as reported by USA Today.
Richard Simmons’ press representative, Tom Estey, dismissed all the claims that have surfaced recently and explained his client’s two-year long disappearance from the public by saying that he doesn’t “want to be in the public eye right now.”
“Richard Simmons has been in the public eye for 40 years, and he’s opted out. It’s his right to do it. That’s the god’s honest truth. There’s nothing more to it than that.”
Estey’s claims come after the New York Daily News issued a report titled “The Haunted Twilight of Richard Simmons,” in which it cites sources saying that the 67-year-old fitness instructor’s behavior has been “highly out of character,” and he stopped returning calls and emails. Some sources even go as far as saying that he is being held against his will at his Hollywood Hills home.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 12, 2016
However, Estey has dismissed the report as “ludicrous,” saying that Richard Simmons is now comfortable being away from the public eye, adding that his client’s “mental health is fine.” Estey also insisted that he doesn’t want his client’s fans to think of him as of “a Howard Hughes recluse in his own home.”
However, reports of Richard Simmons’ mental health issues have appeared in the media in the past. In 2014, TMZ was the first to suspect that something was “seriously wrong” with the pop culture personality. It claimed that he had “a physical problem” that led to “debilitating depression.”
But Richard Simmons himself issued a statement claiming that he had suffered from a knee injury and there were no reasons for concerns. He started his statement by writing how “touched” he was by the love and concern he had received.
“I have had a tough time dealing with this injury, as it is keeping me from doing what I truly love to do and that is to teach classes around the world.”
At the end of his statement, Richard Simmons wrote, “I know I will see you all soon!” And now, over two years later, his fans still haven’t seen him.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) March 14, 2016
Meanwhile, Richard Simmons’s friend and former assistant went so far as to say that the fitness instructor is being “tormented” by witchcraft and being held at his house by his housekeeper, as reported by the Daily Mail.
According to Richard Simmons’s massage therapist and former assistant Mauro Oliveira, the fitness instructor became a victim of “black magic” or “witchcraft,” which explains his disappearance from the public eye.
Richard Simmons, who became famous in the ’90s after the release of his exercise videos Sweatin to the Oldies, is also believed to have been depressed over the death of his beloved dog Hattie. But Oliveira claims that there is more to that.
Oliveira talked about his visit to Richard Simmons’ house after receiving a phone call from the fitness guru saying they needed to talk about something. In the face-to-face conversation, Simmons allegedly told Oliveira that the two could no longer see each other and that he wanted to be alone.
And then suddenly Oliveira got thrown out of Richard Simmons’ house after housekeeper Teresa Reveles allegedly forbade the fitness instructor from going upstairs. When his former assistant asked Simmons if the housekeeper was controlling his life, Simmons answered “yes,” as told by Oliveira.
“I think it was [caused by] black magic, witchcraft. That’s not close to your culture, but to my culture in Brazil, and to Mexicans, that is a real thing. They invoke the spirits.”
Oliveira also added that it was “extremely hard” to explain the state of someone who is being “tormented” by “bad force,” adding that “f***ing Teresa” is putting black magic on Richard Simmons.
However, on March 14, Richard Simmons agreed to undertake a phone interview on the Today show.
In the interview, he insisted that he was and is not being held hostage and that he had shied away from the spotlight due to knee injuries.
“I just wanted to be a little bit of a loner for a while. Not to worry, Richard’s fine. You haven’t seen the last of me.”
[Image via worldswildlifewonders/Shutterstock.com]