'Missing' Richard Simmons is 'perfectly fine' and 'nobody is holding him hostage', according to LAPD
Richard Simmons' whereabouts have been a mystery since he was last seen in public in 2014.
The fitness guru (68) has sparked concern for his welfare in recent years as he has entirely removed himself from the public spotlight in favour of spending time alone at his Los Angeles home.
Most recently, the newly-launched Missing Richard Simmons podcast aims to get to the bottom of his disappearance from public life by speaking to family, friends and members of his Slimmons gym after fresh claims were made by about housekeeper Teresa Reveles keeping him at home against his will, which have been denied by police.
The renewed interest in Simmons sparked fresh action by the Los Angeles Police Department, who visited his home for a welfare check.
"There was something about his housekeeper holding him hostage and not allowing people to see him and preventing him from making phone calls and it was all garbage and that’s why we went out to see him. None of it is true," Detective Kevin Becker told People.
"The fact of the matter is we went out and talked to him he is fine, nobody is holding him hostage. He is doing exactly what he wants to do. If he wants to go out in public or see anybody he will do that."
"He is perfectly fine and he is very happy. I don’t know what he is going to do, but right now he is doing what he wants to do and it is his business."
Becker added the world-famous fitness fanatic, who earned over $100m throughout his career spanning four decades, "couldn't have been nicer" to police.
A spokesperson for the Sweatin' To The Oldies star recently said Simmons "made a choice to take a break from public life, which he has the right to do", contradicting claims made by his former assistance Maura Oliveira, who claimed Revelas was holding him hostage in his home.
"People need to respect that and not surmise that there’s something wrong, when there’s nothing wrong."
"For 40 years, he took care of everyone else but himself. And so it’s not that he’s being selfish, he’s just being a person, a regular person, taking care of himself.”
Mr Simmons' reclusiveness has been the subject of several investigative reports over the years and in 2016, The New York Daily News newspaper to launch an investigation into his whereabouts following reports suggesting he was being deliberately kept from his friends and family by his Reveles.
After the paper published their findings in an article last March, Simmons slammed the piece, telling Entertainment Tonight during a phone interview the write-up was "very hurtful".
"I am not kidnapped," he insisted in a chat that took place the same month the article was published. "I am just in my house right now. No one should be worried about me. The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me.
"I love all the people who worry about me. But it was time for me to take some time to be by myself. This is how I want to live my life right now.
"And to all the people that are worried about me, please don't be. If I was in any trouble, if I was hurting in any way, I would reach out. It is time right now for Richard Simmons to take care of Richard Simmons."