As a child, Richard Simmons struggled with his weight, battling obesity throughout his entire early childhood and adolescence. He eventually reached his peak weight of 268 pounds, at which point he decided to embark on a health journey.
After losing over 100 pounds and reaching the best health of his life, Simmons began sharing his knowledge with others, building a fitness empire that remains well-known to this day. According to Richard Simmons, he helped people all over the world lose an estimated 12 million pounds over the course of his career.
As time went on, he branched out into social media, bringing his high-energy, motivational content into the modern era and inspiring viewers of all ages to improve their health and fitness.
Then came February 2014, however, at which point Richard Simmons disappeared from the public eye without warning. The fitness guru’s shift away from the spotlight was so unexpected, in fact, that it sparked worldwide concern. And before long, even the most outlandish rumors picked up steam.
Two years later, Simmons gave an audio-only interview on the TODAY Show, explaining that he was perfectly fine. Contrary to public fear and speculation, he wasn’t being held hostage by his housekeeper or undergoing major surgery. He simply no longer wanted to be famous.
Richard Simmons Responds to TMZ Documentary
The placating messages over the years did little to quell the panic and intrigue surrounding Richard Simmons, and just this week, a TMZ documentary entitled What Really Happened to Richard Simmons hit streaming services, reigniting the conversation once more.
As Richard Simmons has dealt with invasions of privacy for years due to his disappearance, it was unclear how he would react to a deep dive into his life. Rather than express anger over the documentary, however, Richard Simmons broke his silence for the first time in six years to thank fans for their undying support.
“Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and love!” the fitness guru wrote in a surprising Facebook post. “Love, Richard.”
Richard Simmons’ Facebook page is relatively active. The posts, however, consist of workout videos and clips that predate his decision to abandon fame. As this message was both new and directly from Simmons himself, it sparked a fan frenzy.
While his posts always gain a respectable amount of attention, this one garnered tens of thousands of reactions and thousands of comments.
“I knew it was you, Richard!” one fan wrote. “You are very much loved, please never doubt that. You have done so much good in so many people’s lives. Thank you for all that you have done and are still doing. None of us will ever forget you!”
“We miss you, Richard,” another added. “But hope you are doing what is right for you. You have given me so much joy for years, it is your time now, you deserve peace and happiness. Thank you for saving my life over and over again. I am forever grateful for you.”