Richard Simmons made a statement on Monday denying a report that he was being held against his will at his own home. The story comes after a two-year public absence by Simmons, which naturally concerned his friends since he had always been such a bubbly public personality. The story relied on the account of Mauro Oliveira, Simmons' former masseuse and assistant, who felt that the fitness guru may be under the control of his brother and a long-time maid.
Simmons called into The Today Show and spoke with Savannah Guthrie to deny any claims that he's being held hostage:
No one is holding me in my house as a hostage. 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.
Richards Simmons does what Richard Simmons wants. He also denied that his maid had any control of his affairs:
That's just very silly. Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years. It's almost like we're a married couple.
Simmons also cited a knee injury as contributing to his reclusiveness, and said he simply needed a break from public life. He was also quite stunned that he became such a story and thanked his supporters:
Perhaps Simmons will return to sweat to the oldies one last time before he retires from public life forever.