We’ve all been missing Richard Simmons during his disappearance from the public eye over the past few years, and now there’s finally some news on his activities — but it’s not good.
The Los Angeles Fire Department told ET that it responded to a 911 call at Simmons’ Hollywood Hills mansion just before midnight on Friday, taking one person to the hospital, though the fire department won’t confirm whether the person was Simmons. But according to TMZ’s sources, the fitness guru was acting in “an unusually strange manner,” prompting the 911 call from someone in his home. Simmons was reportedly hospitalized and moved to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
For those of us who’ve connected with the fitness legend’s exuberant teaching style, found inspiration in his brave and refreshingly colorful fashion sense or simply appreciated him for the quirky, passionate on-camera personality that he once was, this news is hard to take.
Many are worried about Simmons, who in his 60s has become quite a shut-in, refusing to see his old friends. A New York Daily News article even entertained the notion that the fitness star’s housekeeper might be holding Simmons captive — Simmons told ET the article was “very hurtful,” insisting in a March interview that the worry was misplaced: “No one should be worried about me,” he said in the phone interview with ET. “The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me.” He also stressed that if he was in trouble, he would reach out.
Simmons did admit that he’d been having “a tough time” in a Facebook post following an injury in 2014: “I am so touched by the outpouring of love and concern I have received today,” he wrote. “I have had a tough time dealing with this injury, as it is keeping me from doing what I truly love to do and that is to teach classes around the world. Make sure you keep Sweatin’!” And while we all may miss getting sweaty with Richard Simmons, the important thing here is that he gets better.
Some fans are commenting on social media about the fact that Simmons’ Facebook page and Twitter account have been updated over the weekend with posts suggesting that everything’s normal, and they wonder if there’s any truth to accusations that people close to Simmons are controlling him. However, while the posts are a bit odd, we also shouldn’t dismiss the possibility that Simmons, or someone close to him, is writing positive things on social media in an attempt to keep his personal issues private and fans from worrying.
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Fans wondering what they can do to help Simmons could stop lamenting that the fitness guru isn’t returning to his youthful ways. Surely, if he were depressed, as many speculate, dealing with people demanding to know why he wasn’t strapping on a tutu and jumping around like his old self would probably be the last thing he’d need. People do change as they age — even in Hollywood.
Simmons insisted in his March interview with ET that he was living his life how he needed to: “This is how I want to live my life right now,” he said. It’s conceivable that after a lifetime spent inspiring others, Simmons might actually just need to take some time to himself — though you can’t blame people for worrying, given the news this weekend. “I just want everyone to know that I love them very much, but it is time right now for Richard Simmons to take care of Richard Simmons,” he told ET.
We certainly hope that’s what he’s doing now.