Contrary to reports stating otherwise, Los Angeles police assert that Richard Simmons is "perfectly fine."
TMZ reported on March 9 that police officers went to the fitness guru's home two weeks ago to check on his wellbeing and everything came up aces. The police were acting on at least one phone call in which it was claimed that Richard was being held hostage.
Officers reportedly spoke to Richard at length and determined he was "perfectly fine."
Stories of Richard's wellbeing and mental state have been circulating for over a year as he's become increasingly reclusive. Earlier this week, a popular podcast wondered if Richard was being held against his will by his housekeeper — a popular theory — as the "Sweatin' to the Oldies" star hasn't been seen publicly in three years.
Dan Taberski, who hosts the "Missing Richard Simmons" podcast, said he tried tracking down Richard's brother, Lenny, but reportedly had the door shut in his face. Reached by phone, though, Lenny was baffled by his brother's disappearing act.
"He's not angry with anybody. I don't understand it. I wish I did," he said.
On March 7, Richard's longtime rep, Tom Estey, spoke to People magazine about the stories circulating about Richards being "held hostage" and said, "As I have stated in the past, these claims are untrue and preposterous."
Other than in a grainy photo from June 2016, the 68 year old hasn't been seen publicly since January 2014. Since his vanishing act, mystery has shrouded the fitness guru.
In early 2015, friends worried that he was depressed and being held hostage in his home by his housekeeper because of his absence from the spotlight. In June 2016, there was a completely unfounded story indicating he was changing genders.
Richard has issued statements saying that he's fine and just needed a break from the limelight, but speculation persists.
During a phone call with the "Today" show in 2016, Richards said, "No one is holding me in my house as a hostage; I do what I want to do as I've always done. So people should just believe what I have to say, because, like, I'm Richard Simmons."
"All the people that are worrying about me, I want to tell them that I love them with my whole heart and soul, and not to worry, Richard's fine," he continued. "You haven't seen the last of me. I'll come back and I'll come back strong."