Fitness guru Richard Simmons was hospitalized for indigestion on Monday, his rep confirmed.
Simmons’ rep, Michael Catalano, told ET, “Richard Simmons was hospitalized on Monday at an undisclosed location in California. After a few days of battling severe indigestion and discomfort while eating, we agreed it was best for him to seek treatment.”
Simmons has been under scrutiny ever since he disappeared from the public eye years ago. His retreat from the spotlight even inspired the“Missing Richard Simmons.” Rumors have swirled that Simmons is being held hostage by his housekeeper or that he is transitioning.
Another rep of Simmpons, Tom Estey, said the rumors were a “complete load of crap” and that Simmons has simply chosen to remove himself from the spotlight.
“Theresa is the housekeeper, she’s the caretaker, she is extraordinary, she is amazing, she takes impeccable care of Richard and she has for as long as I have been working with Richard,” Estey said of the housekeeper rumor. “We did not cooperate nor participate in this podcast because we didn’t feel the need to nor did we want to.”
Simmons himself said in March 2016 to ET, “I love all the people who worry about me. But it was time for me to take some time to be by myself. For the last 40 years I have been traveling, teaching classes, and I had a knee injury, so I had a knee replacement, which was very difficult for me… I have really just been taking it easy, staying at home, working out in my gym and doing the things I haven’t done in a very long time.”
In fact, it looks like Simmons may make a comeback.
Earlier this month, Catalano announced that his management company, Prominent Brand + Talent, had acquired exclusive rights to represent Simmons for merchandising, endorsements and licensing opportunities.
In a statement to ET, Catalano said that the yet-to-be-released products would be “consistent” with Simmons’ “message and mission.”