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Richard Simmons' VANISHING ACT: Truth behind the very public disappearance of the Workout King

Fitness guru Richard Simmons, who vanished from the public eye six years back, has finally spoken out through a representative
TMZ reveals the truth behind Richard Simmons' disappearance in a documentary (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
TMZ reveals the truth behind Richard Simmons' disappearance in a documentary (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Following a six-year absence, Richard Simmons has finally spoken out through a representative. The spokesperson for Simmons, Tom Estey, gave a statement on Friday, August 26, to the Post in the wake of the debut of a recent documentary concerning the unexpected vanishing of the fitness guru. "Richard is eternally grateful for the continuous outpouring of love and gratitude he has received from across the globe. He is happy, healthy, and living the life he has chosen to live," said Estey.
Simmons, 74, recently resurfaced on Facebook on August 25 and stated in a message, "Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and love. Love, Richard." Estey verified that the post, which was Simmons' first contact with his followers in six years, was written by him directly. For more than 30 years, Simmons was among Hollywood's biggest performers. Then, in 2014, he abruptly vanished from the public spotlight.


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After the new documentary "TMZ Investigates: What Really Happened to Richard Simmons" was released this week, intrigue in Simmons' life was rekindled. According to the documentary, the actor's abrupt disappearance was caused by his knee surgery. The new documentary is currently airing on Fox and Hulu. Although Simmons has not been spotted by the general populace since 2014, he did call the Today show in 2016 to dispel unfounded allegations that his maid was holding him captive.


Many of Simmons' followers responded to his Facebook statement with joy after learning that he was well and happy. One fan commented, "I knew it was you, Richard! You are very much loved, please never doubt that. You have done so much good in so many people’s lives. Thank you for all that you have done and are still doing. None of us will ever forget you!" A second said, "We miss you Richard but hope you are doing what is right for you. You have given me so much joy for years, it is your time now, you deserve peace and happiness. Thank you for saving my life over and over again, I am forever grateful to you. "
When Simmons came into the picture in the 1980s with training films that were available to individuals of all shapes and sizes, he gained popularity. Simmons' playful style contributed to making workouts and training appear pleasant and attainable for overweight Americans who had previously been daunted by muscular and stern instructors. He usually used to be dressed in shorts and bejeweled tank tops in bright colors.
His 1988 VHS "Sweatin' To The Oldies" earned over $200 million, making it the most successful home workout tape ever. In the 1990s and 2000s, he went on to be a well-known public personality, releasing best-selling recipe books, starring in TV commercials, and making appearances on late-night talk programs.


Simmons ceased doing live performances in 2014 because of his knee issues. He had right knee replacement surgery, which left him in agony, according to the TMZ film. Later, physicians advised him to fix his left knee as well, but he apparently declined since the previous procedure had left him distraught. According to the documentary, Simmons was born lacking certain bones in his foot, which caused him to have knee issues. The illness allegedly resulted in bodily issues as well as mental ones. Even though he has been suffering from several such painful medical conditions, Simmon seems to be relishing his retirement and leading a happy life back home in the Hollywood Hills, far from the limelight.