Although exercise guru and actor Richard Simmons has been out of limelight for over two years, the concern over his prolonged absence from the public view only came to be after an online expose suggested he might actually have gone “missing.”
New York Daily News recently posted a story featuring some of Simmons’ closest friends claiming they had neither seen nor heard from 67-year-old in the past two years. While this sounded a bit worrisome, the friends took it a step further by expressing fears, which to be honest, sound more like conspiracy theories than anything else.
For instance, Simmons' former masseur and assistant, Mauro Oliveira, said the TV personality’s live-in housekeeper Teresa Reveles, along with his brother and manager, might be taking advantage of fitness guru’s weak mental state and controlling his everyday life.
Oliveira also implied Reveles is a “bonafide practitioner of the dark arts.”
“I think tormented is the best word to describe [Simmons’] mental state,” he said. “I think it was [caused by] black magic, witchcraft. That’s not close to your culture, but to my culture in Brazil, and to Mexicans — Teresa Reveles is from Mexico — that is a real thing. They invoke the spirits.”
Meanwhile, June Park, the owner of a wig store that Simmons used to frequent, told the NY Daily the last time she attempted to visit the actor on his birthday in 2014, Reveles answered the door and turned her away.
Simmons’ rep, as is his job, refuted the report and stated the fitness fanatic had been a public figure for 40 years and is just taking a well-deserved break. However, that wasn’t enough to quench the curiosity of online users, most of whom seemed pretty sure the actor was being held against his will in his own house.
The Internet, as expected, went into frenzy over the baffling circumstances surrounding Simmons’ disappearance, leading the man in question to break his long silence.
“No one should be worried about me,” Simmons reportedly told Entertainment Tonight’s Executive Producer Brad Bessey. “The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me.”
“I am not kidnapped,” he added. “I am just in my house right now.”
Since the fans and friends did not get to see the legendary fitness guru, these exclusive statements did nothing but deepen the mystery, providing more fodder to the conspiracy theorists.
Did anyone realize that Richard Simmons has been missing for the last 2 years? .— iknowjustincase (@iknowjustincase) March 13, 2016
Obsessed with the "Richard Simmons is being held captive by his housekeeper" story. He's the new Shelly Miscavige! #FreeRichard— Greg Bennett (@GreggyBennett) March 13, 2016
Who gon help Richard Simmons srsly? ?? https://t.co/OjDNdwmZ3i— Jessahme Wren (@jessahmewren) March 13, 2016
Bill Cosby was arrested, Richard Simmons has been kidnapped & Donald Trump's almost president.— TrivWorks (@TrivWorks) March 13, 2016
What happened, 80s? We used to be friends...
Guys, what's going on with Richard Simmons? #FreeRichardSimmons— shannon hurley (@shannonhurley) March 13, 2016
Simmons is scheduled to speak on the phone Monday with NBC’s “Today Show.”