‘Missing Richard Simmons’: Police Welfare Check, Fitness Guru ‘Perfectly Fine’

Friends and fans have been so worried about Richard Simmons’ absence from the spotlight that a podcast called “Missing Richard Simmons” was recently started by former The Daily Show producer Dan Taberski. It became the most popular podcast on iTunes rather quickly and even spurred an investigation into Simmons’ wellbeing in the form of a police welfare check on the star.

According to the Washington Post, Richard Simmons is “perfectly fine” according to law enforcement who checked in on him some two weeks ago, but that hasn’t calmed the fears of his friends, who have come up with some interesting theories about why the formerly outgoing fitness buff has been completely missing from the public eye for more than three years now.

One of the most alarming theories regarding Richard Simmons’ absence claims that he is being held hostage by his housekeeper Teresa Reveles and that she wouldn’t let him leave the house to rejoin society. Apparently, that theory is not true or at least Simmons and/or his housekeeper were able to convince police that it wasn’t, according to a report from People.

“There was something about his housekeeper holding him hostage and not allowing people to see him and preventing him from making phone calls and it was all garbage and that’s why we went out to see him. None of it is true,” explains Detective Kevin Becker.

“The fact of the matter is we went out and talked to him he is fine, nobody is holding him hostage. He is doing exactly what he wants to do. If he wants to go out in public or see anybody he will do that.”

So what is the real reason that Richard Simmons has retreated from the world, not only shutting out his celebrity life but also refusing to see friends and family?

“I don’t know what he is going to do, but right now he is doing what he wants to do and it is his business,” Becker added about Simmons.

Rumors of Richard Simmons seclusion have been an issue for more than a year now with friends worried about the star and fans hoping their fitness inspiration will return to the limelight. Last year, in an effort to quiet all the chatter about why he may have stepped out of the spotlight, Richard called in to the Today Show to clear up some of the rumors and hopefully get a bit of peace. It doesn’t look like his telephone interview did much to quiet the rising concern over Simmons’ welfare.

“No one is holding me in my house as a hostage,” Richard said live on-air. “You know, I do what I want to do as I’ve always done, so people should sort of just believe what I have to say because, like, I’m Richard Simmons.”

When Richard Simmons was asked about the rumor that he was being held captive by his housekeeper, he responded, “That’s just very silly. Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years. It’s almost like we’re a married couple.”

“I just sort of wanted to be a little bit of a loner for a while,” Simmons said in the rare telephone interview. “You know, I had hurt my knee, Savannah, and I had some problems with it, and then the other knee started giving me trouble because I’ve taught, like, thousands and thousands of classes, and you know right now I just want to sort of take care of me.”

Even after the telephone interview, Dan Taberski didn’t believe that Richard Simmons was alright. He continues to question why Simmons would choose to seclude himself, especially considering that the workout sensation was so incredibly outgoing for much of his career. It seems that Richard might be doing exactly what he wants to do though and even his own publicist has spoken out on his behalf in an attempt to squash the speculation over what else might be going on in Simmons’ life.

“He made a choice to take a break from public life, which he has the right to do,” Tom Estey said in a statement. “People need to respect that and not surmise that there’s something wrong when there’s nothing wrong. For 40 years, he took care of everyone else but himself. And so it’s not that he’s being selfish, he’s just being a person, a regular person, taking care of himself.”

Considering that the podcast that Taberski is heading up is called “Missing Richard Simmons” when he isn’t even missing at this point, the show can take a different turn and it looks like the podcast’s creator is already on that. Rather than trying to release Richard Simmons from the clutches of an evil housekeeper, Taberski explained in another interview that he is trying to remind Richard just how valuable he is. Maybe there is some value in that because really, Simmons is a huge part of pop culture history and has been an amazing inspiration to many.

“What we’re doing is something of a grand gesture,” Taberski told Dan Zak from the Washington Post. “We are reminding him that what he did was important and that he helped countless people and they love him for it. There’s something about him, maybe, that he doesn’t believe, and hopefully this will jar that part of him.”

Dan Zak referred to the “Missing Richard Simmons” podcast as a “loving invasion of Richard Simmons’ privacy” which really is how the constant attempts at an intervention have played out. Fans and friends of the star desperately miss him, whether he is truly missing or not.

[Featured image by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images]