Sammy Nickalls
March 14, 2016 10:04 am
Scott Roth / Getty Images

After bizarre rumors that Richard Simmons was being held hostage by his housekeeper—possibly under the influence of witchcraft—the Sweatin’ to the Oldies star confirmed to media outlets he has not been kidnapped.

This weekend, a lengthy report by the New York Daily News speculated about the possible whereabouts of the fitness guru, who has been mysteriously out of the public eye since 2013. The piece cited anonymous close sources who worried about his wellbeing, even suggesting that Richard was being held against his will in his own home by his live-in housekeeper, Teresa Reveles:

However, Richard has dispelled that rumor by reaching out in two interviews to let everyone know that “no one should be worried.” Calling the report “very hurtful,” he told Entertainment Tonight, “I am not kidnapped. I am just in my house right now. No one should be worried about me. The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me.”

According to Simmons, he’s spent this time out of the public eye to focus on himself:

Despite his knee issues, he’s still been keeping fit and healthy, which also dispels the rumor that he hasn’t been leaving the house because he gained weight. “I still weigh 150. I work out every day. I have a gym at the house, and I am very healthy,” he told ET. “. . . This is how I want to live my life right now. And to all the people that are worried about me, please don’t be. If I was in any trouble, if I was hurting in any way, I would reach out. It is time right now for Richard Simmons to take care of Richard Simmons.”

The NYDN report suggested that his housekeeper was controlling the fitness star, cutting him off from loved ones. His former assistant, Mauro Oliveira, even claimed that the housekeeper was using witchcraft to assert dominance over Richard. He also responded to these allegations in interview with Today, saying “That’s just very silly. Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years. It’s almost like we’re a married couple.”

Richard Simmons told Today that he’s just on a break and he’ll be back in the public eye after a little “me time”:

You do you, Richard.

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