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03/10/2017 08:45 am ET Updated Mar 10, 2017

Richard Simmons Is 'Perfectly Fine,' LAPD Says After Visit

A detective refuted rumors that the fitness guru is being held hostage.

A Los Angeles police detective has dispelled claims surrounding the disappearance of Richard Simmons, telling People on Thursday that the fitness guru is “perfectly fine.”

Simmons, 68, has been the subject of extreme speculation because he has reportedly not been since in public since 2014. A new podcast has also included an assertion that he was being held hostage in his own home by a housekeeper. “Missing Richard Simmons,” by Dan Taberski, features an interview with a former assistant who made the accusation about a maid still on Simmons’ staff.

But after investigators made a welfare visit to Simmons’ home, LAPD detective Kevin Becker called the allegation “garbage.”

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,” Becker told People. “None of it is true. 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.”

The detective continued: “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.”

Simmons appeared at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in November 2013. Months later, he retreated from public view.
Scott Roth via Getty Images
Simmons appeared at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in November 2013. Months later, he retreated from public view.

Simmons’ longtime representative, Tom Estey, had already insisted that Simmons merely wanted a break from public life.

The fitness guru thanked his followers on Facebook and through a spokesperson when his iconic Beverly Hills gym Slimmons, opened in 1974, closed in November. But the “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” video star has not been seen in public since February 2014, according to the “Missing Richard Simmons” podcast.

The LAPD’s revelation comes amid a report (watch above) from Entertainment Tonight in which Simmons’ former massage therapist, Mauro Oliveira, who also made the hostage claim, said Simmons had stopped talking to many old friends.

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