Richard Simmons denied a New York Daily News report that he is being “held against his will” in his own home, and says that “no one is holding me in my house as a hostage.”
“I do what I want to do as I’ve always done,” Simmons said on Monday’s “Today” show. “So people should sort of just believe what I have to say because, like, I’m Richard Simmons!”
The fitness guru hasn’t been seen in public in about two years. The NY Daily News story suggests that his housekeeper, Teresa Reveles, and his manager are keeping him locked inside his house against his own volition.
“Richard Simmons has vanished from public view, and many who know him best say they haven’t had any contact in more than two years,” the outlet reported. “All repeat the same message, some anonymously and some on the record: Simmons stopped returning calls and emails more than two years ago, behavior that is highly out of character, and his housekeeper is blocking access to him at home.”
“It’s not something that I want to seek publicity about, but we are very concerned,” a source told the Daily News. “Teresa did turn me away several times. He has missed funerals of close friends. He was the most reliable and caring person on the planet, and then to suddenly vanish? I have come to believe that something else is happening. I don’t think Richard is in there of his own volition.”
In response to the claims, Simmons said, “That’s just very silly. Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years. It’s almost like we’re a married couple.”
He also added that he just wanted to be alone in the vicinity of his own home.
“I just sort of wanted to be a little bit of a loner for a little while,” he said. “You know, I had hurt my knee, 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.”
Claiming that his activities have taken a toll on his health, he does insist that his health is good, asking fans “not to worry.”
“For all the people that were worrying about me, I want to tell them that I love them with my whole heart and soul and that not to worry, Richard’s fine,” he said. “You haven’t seen the last of me. I’ll come back, and I’ll come back strong.”