A close friend of Sweatin’ To The Oldies innovator Richard Simmons has taken to the internet to inquire why the exercise guru has been missing from the public eye for nearly three years.
Following rumors of a debilitating knee injury that ultimately led to claims that he was being purposely restrained at his Beverly Hills home by his longtime housekeeper, Theresa Reveles, in late 2016, the 63-year-old has since gone on record to deny any wrongdoing by Reveles, while also expressing that he simply stepped away from the spotlight in order to lead a less-stressful lifestyle.
“For the last 40 years, I have been traveling, teaching classes, and had replacement [surgery], which was very difficult for me,” Simmons explained in a phone interview with Entertainment Tonight in March of 2016.
“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.”
“No one should be worried about me,” he went on to tell ET.
“The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me.”
Despite the tone of reassurance, however, Richard’s last notable no-show at the permanent shutting of Slimmons, his famed exercise studio, in November of 2016 after 40 years of business, as noted by Time Out, caused one of his close friends, former producer of The Daily Show Dan Taberski, to rev up public interest surrounding Simmons’ disappearing act by way of a new online podcast, Missing Richard Simmons.
— James Dempsey (@James_Proclaims) February 25, 2017
Taking a note from the well-regarded web offering Serial, Taberski’s Missing Richard Simmons seeks out to “humanize the eccentric icon,” the Daily Mail shared, while also shining a spotlight “on what he’s been doing behind closed [curtains]” over the past three years.
“On February 15, 2014, fitness guru Richard Simmons disappeared,” an official summary from the Missing Richard Simmons website further relays.
“He stopped teaching his regular exercise class at Slimmons, cut off his closest friends, and removed himself from the public eye after decades as one of the most accessible celebrities in the world. Nobody has heard from him – and no one knows why he left. Filmmaker Dan Taberski was a Slimmons regular and a friend of Richard’s. Missing Richard Simmons is Dan’s search for Richard – and the deeper he digs, the stranger it gets.”
Once notoriously regarded as being extremely sociable as well as physically fit, Richard would often make the rounds of the late-night TV circuit with appearances on programs such as The Tonight Show and Late Night with former hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman, respectively, while also taking it upon himself to set up private home visits with those who felt ashamed about displaying their weight outdoors, as well as personally drive elderly patrons of Slimmons to the studio when they had no rides of their own.
Facts like these and others are part of the main reason why Taberski feels that something far dire is as play when it comes to the still-elusive Simmons.
— 89.3 KPCC (@KPCC) February 24, 2017
“I am extremely worried,” the Missing Richard Simmons host expressed to the Huffington Post recently, before going on note Simmons as a “beacon of light” to millions.
“I do think something’s going on. I don’t know what it is [and] I don’t want to get grim here, [but] I’m hoping everything’s great.”
Although just three episodes deep at the time of this posting, the fervor around the details of the Missing Richard Simmons podcast has caused it to jump to the top of the iTunes downloads charts, as WXYZ-Detroit states, with its filled-to-the-brim inquiries and hypotheses regarding the energetic entertainment personality’s current whereabouts and frame of mind.
“Some of them are pretty basic,” Taberski further shared with KPPC Radio, “[such as], did things happen before he disappeared that may have sent him into a bit of a depression? We explore that and end up going down a lot of different roads. It really takes a lot of twists and turns and it’s still ongoing. We [still] don’t know the answer of why Richard Simmons would ghost the world.”
Those who are interested in exploring the mystery that is Missing Richard Simmons can listen in for free on iTunes, Apple Music and Stitcher Radio. Simmons himself has not yet commented on the existence of the podcast.
[Featured Image by Tina Fineberg/AP Images]