Richard Simmons is an icon both of the 1980s and of physical fitness. Over the last year, the Sweatin’ to the Oldies creator has seen a lot of attention focused on his personal life, with rampant speculation that he might be in the midst of transitioning to a woman circulating online. When 68-year-old Richard Simmons was admitted to the hospital for an undisclosed reason in June, the transgender rumors hit an all-time high. However, his rep later revealed that Simmons had been hospitalized for “dehydration.”
Those close to the star claim he had been behaving erratically prior to his hospitalization, and many believe there’s much more to the story than Richard simply needing some hydration.
Later, the notoriously private Richard Simmons made a rare public appearance to put the rumors about his potential transgender status to rest. He told the world that he unequivocally was not transitioning to a woman.
However, despite having spent decades building a name for himself in the world of physical fitness, over the last couple of years, Richard Simmons has shied away from the spotlight. In fact, he’s hidden himself away completely and so well that he’s no longer showing up at his iconic Beverly Hills exercise studio, Slimmons. His absence has reportedly had a huge negative impact on his fitness studio, a popular venue where Richard Simmons was a well-known (and expected) fixture for almost ever.
The toll of Richard Simmons’ absence from his Los Angeles exercise studio has done so much damage to the iconic California fixture that Slimmons Studio is reportedly about ready to shut its doors for good. As TMZ reports, Richard Simmons’ namesake studio and arguably his prized possession is closing down, and soon.
Reportedly, Richard Simmons’ exercise studio, a studio he dedicated to helping the overweight and obese lose weight and get healthy, is closing its doors forever in less than a month. Members of the facility have reportedly begun receiving letters telling them that, as of November 19, Richard Simmons’ exercise studio will be no more.
The news comes as a shock to some and as the end of an era to many, many others — people that Richard Simmons worked so diligently to help; people struggling with their weight, health, and self-esteem; and people who are now as Richard Simmons once was.
In fact, Richard Simmons’ career as an exercise guru began when he made significant changes in his own life, changes to his diet and exercise routines that allowed him to drop a stunning 123 pounds in the early 1970s. By 1974, Slimmons Studio was born, and Richard Simmons (born Milton Teagle Simmons in 1948) was sharing his judgment-free love of fitness with those who needed his help the most.
Ultimately, Richard Simmons made a name for himself with his high-energy, high-intensity, and welcoming dance workouts, which are credited with helping tens of thousands of people get their weight, health, and lives in check.
However, the normally flamboyant Simmons literally disappeared off the face of the earth two-and-a-half years ago, and without a word. He publicly claimed to be battling a knee injury and stated that he wanted some time out of the public spotlight. Many fans, loved ones, and even acquaintances simply don’t buy the explanations, though, and as such years of Richard Simmons rumors were born.
At one point, in early 2015, there were even allegations that Richard Simmons was being held against his will at his Los Angeles home. The situation got so serious that the LAPD was dispatched to his place to do a welfare check; an investigation into his health and safety reportedly proved that Richard Simmons was doing “fine,” or at least he appeared to be on the surface. Richard even participated in a phone interview to reassure his troubled fans and loved ones that he was alright.
“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.”
Following his June release from Cedars-Sinai Hospital, fans were once again assured that Richard Simmons was “fine,” aside from his dehydration. However, as Us Weekly reports, the public explanation didn’t curtail the rumors. It has even been reported that Simmons was so out of sorts when paramedics arrived at his home that they thought that he might have been suffering from dementia or maybe a stroke.
At this point, with his iconic studio getting ready to shutter for good, Richard Simmons’ adoring public can only hope that he’s been telling the truth, and that all is well in the fitness guru’s life.
[Featured Image by worldswildlifewonders/Shutterstock]