BEVERLY HILLS—On February 15, 2014, Los Angeles fitness guru Richard Simmons disappeared from the public eye. For more than 3 years, friends and fans expressed concern and raised theories about his sudden absence. On Thursday, March 9, 2017, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed they conducted an investigation and deemed Simmons alive and well.
Dan Taberski, a former regular at Simmons’ fitness studio in Beverly Hills, created a podcast to find out exactly what happened to Simmons. The podcast, “Missing Richard Simmons” investigates different ideas from people who once knew him, to gain a better understanding of why he abruptly stopped teaching his classes and answering emails and phone calls.
“The concern is that he is not just taking time off. He’s not just retired. He’s not just stepping away from the spotlight. The concern is that he’s cut off every person he knows,” Taberski said in a New York Times interview.
One theory that gained popularity involved Simmons being held hostage by his longtime housekeeper, Teresa Reveles. According to Simmons’ friend, Mauro Oliveira, Reveles allegedly controlled his every move and prevented him from communicating with the public. These allegations prompted the LAPD to visit Simmons’ Hollywood Hills home for a welfare check.
“None of it is true,” Detective Kevin Becker told People magazine. “He is fine, nobody is holding him hostage. He is doing exactly what he wants to do.”
Richard Simmons, 68, is best known for his weight-loss programs, such as his “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” aerobics videos. He is famous for being energetic and encouraging. His exercise studio, Slimmons in Beverly Hills was closed in November 2016.