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Where is Richard Simmons? Friends say fitness guru is being held against his will

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Iconic, super-fun fitness instructor Richard Simmons has been noticeably absent from public view for years, and now everyone is freaking out about the mystery. And by everyone we mean the New York Daily News.

In a long-read piece, the News reports that the man behind Sweatin’ to the Oldies is being held in his Hollywood Hills home against his will — by none other than his longtime housekeeper, Teresa Reveles.

But Simmons’ rep, Tom Estey, has denied allegations, telling People, “As I have stated in the past, these claims are untrue and preposterous. Richard, after 40 years of being in the spotlight, is now simply taking a break from the public eye and working behind the scenes to continue to help those millions of people worldwide in need of his assistance and on several projects to be announced soon.”

According to the report, the 67-year-old began ghosting old friends in 2013, even missing funerals of those who were closest to him, behavior very much unlike the warm, reliable man acquaintances knew for years.

Simmons’ friend, confidante and former assistant, Mauro Oliveira, warned of a plot by the star’s inner circle to drug and control him. He spoke of Reveles turning away several friends when they tried to visit and said that the last time he was invited to Simmons’ mansion, the fitness guru sheepishly broke the news that they could no longer see each other.

“I just want to be by myself, and I want to be in the house, and we’re never going to see each other again,” Simmons told him.

During the conversation, Reveles screamed, “Get out! Get out!”

“Is she controlling your life now?” Oliveira asked.

“Yes,” Simmons reportedly answered.

When Oliveira tried to contact Simmons’ brother for help, the star threatened him with a restraining order.

Several close friends told the News that they hadn’t heard from Simmons since 2013 and were “very concerned.”

Similar rumors circulated in 2014, and Simmons credited a knee injury for his absence.

“I am so touched by the outpouring of love and concern I have received today,” he wrote on his Facebook page at the time. “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.”

The story notes that Simmons made appearances at the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and a CNN interview on New Year’s Eve 2013 that ended when he ran away in tears. His last known public appearance was a fundraiser in Los Angeles for “Covered California,” a California health-care program, on Jan. 30, 2014.

A 2015 LAPD report following a visit to his home confirmed that Simmons was “responsive and alert.”

[Last modified: Sunday, March 13, 2016 6:45pm]


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