Richard Simmons denies a report saying he has been held against his will for the past two years.
In a phone interview with the “Today” show’s Savannah Guthrie Monday, the fitness guru said, “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!”
Simmons, 67, has rarely been seen in the past few years, and a report from the New York Daily News emerged recently claiming that his housekeeper, Teresa Reveles, was controlling him.
“That’s just very silly,” Simmons said. “Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years. It’s almost like we’re a married couple.”
He told Guthrie that he “wanted to be a little bit of a loner for a while” and explained that he was recovering from a knee injury.
“I just sort of want to take care of me,” he said. “I just really don’t want to do anything. I just don’t want to be travelling anymore. It certainly has taken its toll on me.”
He expressed his gratitude for those who are concered.
“All the people that are worrying about me, I want to tell them that I love them with my whole heart and soul and that not to worry, Richard’s fine,” he said. “You haven’t seen the last of me — I’ll come back, and I’ll come back strong.”
Simmons’ rep responded to claims in a statement to People Sunday, calling them “untrue and preposterous.”
“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,” the statement said.
You can listen to Simmons’ interview with Guthrie below:
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