More than eight years after Richard Simmon’s public disappearance, Three’s Company star Suzanne Somers is now opening up about the last interaction she had with the fitness personality.
In a PEOPLE’s exclusive sneak peek at the TV documentary TMZ Investigates: What Really Happened to Richard Simmons, Suzanne Somers said she began to realize Simmons’ insecurities prior to him going off the radar. “One night I was on the Larry King Show and he was either going to be a guest or supposed to be a guest,” Somers recalled. “And I head through the Larry King people that he didn’t want to be on the show with me.”
When she asked Simmons why he didn’t want to be on the show with her, Suzanne Somers said his response was that she would make fun of him. “And that’s not my style, I never make fun of anybody. But that’s when I realized a little insecurity has gotten in there.”
Suzanne Somers further explained that she actually liked Simmons. She was always so surprised that he thought she’d make fun of him. “But that doesn’t show you he’s got a heartache? Something’s broken inside because he did it. He had it and then let it go.”
According to the media outlet, Simmons suddenly stopped teaching at his famous workout studio in February 2014. This was after more than five decades of him being in the spotlight. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Simmons began to upload some of his archival content on his YouTube channel. This was in order to help others stay fit during stay-at-home orders.
In the documentary, TMZ looks into the facts behind Simmons’ unexplained departure from the public eye. Those who are part of the interview include Suzanne Somers, writer Bruce Vilanch, and Simmons’ costume designer, Leslie Wilshire.
TMZ Founder Harvey Levin Says Richard Simmons Still Leaves His House
Also in the documentary, TMZ founder Harvey Levin revealed that despite not being seen by the public in nearly a decade Richard Simmons still goes out.
“We found out he likes going to the beach,” Levin said about Richard Simmons’ activities. “He’ll go shopping. There has not been a single paparazzi that has gotten anything of Richard Simmons out in the public in more than eight years.”
The Sun reports that in 2017, Richard Simmons’ brother, Lenny, denied strange reports that the fitness personality was being held hostage by his housekeeper. “After 40-some-odd years, he just decided that he wants to rest,” Lenny stated at the time. He added that this brother remains in good health and just wants time to himself.
Meanwhile, Richard Simmons made a statement in 2016 after some reporters began investigating his whereabouts. He noted that he just wanted to be a “little bit of a loner” for a while.