Richard Simmons: I’m not being held against my will

Richard Simmons onstage at JDRF's Los Angeles Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Rose Bowl on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision for JDRF/AP)

NEW YORK, NY (WWLP) – Exercise and fitness star Richard Simmons has not made any major public appearances in quite a while, and that has led to speculation about what exactly is going on with the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” creator. Simmons gave a telephone interview on NBC’s Today show, after a report in the New York Daily News suggested that he is possibly being held at his Beverly Hills mansion against his will.

The article quoted friends of Simmons saying that they have had no contact with him for more than two years. His former assistant Mauro Oliveira suggested that Simmons’ housekeeper, Teresa Reveles, was controlling his life.

In his telephone interview, which was given Sunday night and aired Monday morning, Simmons told Savannah Guthrie that Reveles has been with him for more than 30 years, and that the two are like an old married couple. He said any suggestion that she is holding him against his will is “very silly.”

“No one is holding me in my house as a hostage. I do what I want to do, as I’ve always done,” Simmons said.

The 67 year-old said that he has had major problems with his knees, and as a result, has wanted to stop making public appearances, at least for now.

“I just sort of wanted to be a loner for a while,” Simmons said. “I just really don’t want to do anything. I just don’t want to be traveling anymore. It certainly has taken its toll on me.”

Simmons told Guthrie that he is in good health, and takes walks and drives, and exercises in his home gym.

“All those people who are worrying about me, I want to tell them that I love them with my whole heart and soul. And not to worry, Richard’s fine. You haven’t seen the last of me! I’ll come back, and I’ll come back strong.”

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