About 2 weeks ago, the Missing Richard Simmons podcast debuted, purporting that iconic weight-loss advocate Richard Simmons has been "missing" for over 1,000 days. The host, Dan Taberski, presented three possible explanations as to why the pop-culture personality, the most intriguing of which is that the 68-year-old is essentially being held captive by his live-in housekeeper. This theory was supported by Mauro Oliveira, Simmons' friend, and former masseuse.
Now, Simmon's publicist, Tom Estey, has spoken out against these claims. Speaking to reporters, he said, "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."
Dan Taberski regularly attended fitness classes in Beverly Hills that Simmons' lead, and he claims the two of them became close friends. So close that, in addition to taking in dinner parties together, the two of them seriously discussed filming a documentary about Simmons' life.
Interestingly, in March of last year, Simmons addressed rumors of his kidnapping with the Today Show, saying, "No one is holding me in my house as a hostage." He added, "You know I do what I want to do as I've always done, so people should sort of just believe what I have to say because, like, I'm Richard Simmons!"
Tom Estey went on to say that the allegations are a "complete load of crap," and ended by saying, "We did not cooperate nor participate in this podcast because we didn't feel the need to nor did we want to. All these things distract from his legacy and I will not allow that to happen because this man is a world treasure. He has helped millions of people lose millions of pounds. He has saved millions of lives, spent millions and millions of his own money helping and saving people's lives. This man is a saint, so treat him like a saint and leave him alone."
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[H/T: New York Post]