Rumors swirled again this week that the once popular fitness guru Richard Simmons was being held hostage inside his mansion by his housekeeper. The rumors resurfaced after a podcast appearance by one of Simmon’s former friends and quickly began spreading around the internet like wildfire. It even reportedly spurred the LAPD to conduct a welfare check at Simmons’ home.
Well, a Washington Post report found the details of the LAPD investigation into Simmon’s current conditions, as leaked by some law enforcement sources to a celebrity gossip website, are not quite as scandalous as we may have all been led to believe by the recent podcast.
According to the LAPD sources, Simmons was “perfectly fine” and appeared “very happy” when officers conducted the check two weeks ago.
“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,” Detective Kevin Becker told People magazine in an interview about the Simmons investigation. “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.”
The sudden interest in Simmons’ well-being came about after an episode of the podcast Missing Richard Simmons when the ex-fitness guru’s former masseuse, Mauro Oliveira, brought to light allegations that Simmons was essentially a victim of elder abuse, being held against his will by his housekeeper who Oliveira alleges controls everything about the man.
Simmons has not been seen in public since February 2014, claiming it was due to a recent knee surgery and subsequent rehab efforts in a rather odd interview on The Today Show in 2016. In fact, that interview likely only helped fuel the speculation surrounding Simmons’ life outside the public eye.
But again, LAPD officers say they conducted their investigation and it is basically all much ado about nothing.
“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,” Detective Becker said.
Nonetheless, the podcast makers stand behind their claims and say they are only trying to help their friend who they feel is locked in his own home, away from friends.
Simmons spokesman, Tom Estey, previously denounced the podcast as a “load of crap” in an statement earlier this week. He now appears to be had toned down his latest statement to People, saying Simmons simply “made a choice to take a break from public life, which he has the right to do.”
He added, “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.”