Richard Simmons: ‘I’m alive, still smiling,’ after viral story about being held hostage

Richard Simmons in Chicago in 2009
Richard Simmons in Chicago in 2009 FPS

Mystery, solved?

Eccentric fitness guru Richard Simmons called in to NBC’s “The Today Show” Monday to quell questions raised in a Saturday New York Daily News story about how he “abruptly disappeared from public life.”

“Richard Simmons has vanished from public view, and many who know him best say they haven’t had any contact in more than two years,” the Daily News wrote. “All repeat the same message, some anonymously and some on the record: Simmons stopped returning calls and emails more than two years ago, behavior that is highly out of character, and his housekeeper is blocking access to him at home.”

The story went viral, apparently prompting Simmons to post on his Facebook page Sunday: “I can’t believe I was trending on Facebook! After some questions about my health and whereabouts, I’ll be calling in to Today Show tomorrow morning. If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, I hope you’ll tune in!”

On the show, Simmons said: “No one is holding me in my house as a hostage” and “people should sort of just believe what I have to say because I’m, like, Richard Simmons.”

After the show, Simmons posted on Facebook: “I’m alive, still smiling and, as I said in the interview, you haven’t seen the last of me!”


Thank you to everyone who tuned in to The Today Show this morning to hear me talk about why I've stepped out of the...

Posted by Richard Simmons on Monday, March 14, 2016

Also, Simmons hasn’t been entirely offline, as he (or someone with access to his Twitter account) has been regularly tweeting.

Are we actually watching this unfold in real time? Or is it all part of some crazy stunt? Only time will tell.