Due to weighing 268 lbs. as a kid, Milton Teagle Simmons, who is best known by millions as Richard Simmons, decided to take back his life by opening up his own exercise studio originally called The Anatomy Asylum. A recurring role on General Hospital led to his Emmy-winning talk show The Richard Simmons Show and his popular video series Sweating to the Oldies.
After too many appearances to count over the past 40 years, the New Orleans, Louisiana native removed himself from the public eye in 2014. Many of his friends claimed to have not seen or heard from him for the past two years. Surprisingly enough, his Twitter and Facebook pages remained active. Two years later, various rumors spread throughout the internet that he was being held hostage by his own housekeeper. In a piece in the New York Times, it stated that he told his former assistant Mauro Oliveira to stop communicating with him. When asked if his housekeeper Teresa Reveles was controlling his life, Simmons quietly said, “Yes.”
In an interview with the Today Show on March 14, 2016, Simmons denied any of the kidnapping rumors and simply stated that he wanted to be alone for a while. Many of his fans on this Facebook page were concerned about his well-being and thought his interview was a bit forced.
The following events that year led to more concern for the fitness trainer. In June, he was rushed to the emergency room for a few days due to dehydration. Later that month, he addressed rumors of him transitioning into a woman. In November, his exercise studio Slimmons Studio closed without warning and without Simmons present to bid farewell with the staff and customers.
Well, what is up with Richard Simmons? A lot of people are still trying to find out, and that’s where Dan Taberski steps in. The former Daily Show producer and one of Simmons’ best friends is the host of the new podcast titled Missing Richard Simmons which goes into the current whereabouts of the fitness guru. On the first episode of the podcast, he spoke to some of Simmons’ closest friends to get a better understanding of the scenario. In the second episode, Taberski takes things a little too far by doing his broadcast outside of Simmons’ home in Los Angeles, California. While many people have criticized how Taberski has handled the situation, the podcast has become a huge hit in the United States; it has been the number one podcast on iTunes for weeks now.
Fortunately, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. Richard’s older brother Lenny, who appeared on an episode of Missing Richard Simmons, told Entertainment Tonight in an exclusive interview that the two still talk on a weekly basis. Richard’s own housekeeper even states that she’s confused with his sudden departure from the outside world. There’s no way to tell when the beloved trainer will pop up in the public again, but fans will be awaiting his arrival with open arms.