Richard Simmons Makes Rare Comment After Documentary Debuts on His Disappearance

Richard Simmons arrives at the Friend Movement Anti-Bullying Benefit Concert at the El Rey Theater on July 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Richard Simmons left public life in 2014, causing many fans to wonder what happened to the popular fitness guru.

Now following the release of the documentary TMZ Investigates: What Really Happened to Richard Simmons, the 74-year-old star has broken his silence to thank fans for their continued support.

“Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and love! Love, Richard,” Simmons wrote in a recent post on his verified Facebook page.

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The flamboyant fitness legend’s fans flooded the post with comments.

“I’m so proud of you for taking time for yourself. You’ve given so much of yourself to the world, and now it’s your time,” one fan wrote.

“Bless you Richard Simmons. Hope you’re healthy & happy!” another person responded.

Simmons made his last public appearance in February 2014. Around that time, he stopped teaching at his “Slimmons” fitness gym and ended contact with some of his close friends, who spoke with TMZ to say they’ve repeatedly tried and failed to reach Simmons.

His absence from the spotlight prompted rumors that he was being held hostage or that something terrible happened.

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Amid the speculation, Simmons became the subject of a podcast called “Missing Richard Simmons,” and later the TMZ documentary, which premiered Aug. 22 on Fox.

The doc includes interviews with fellow fitness star Suzanne Somers, Dr. Phil, and a paparazzo who said it’s impossible to find Simmons.

“Never have I seen this amount of time pass and not be able to find somebody,” said Steve Ginsburg, owner of Backgrid USA Paparazzi Agency. “Richard Simmons takes the award for best hide.”

“You get to a point in your life where maybe you decide, ‘It’s my time and it’s my turn, enough is enough,” Dr. Phil added. “If you see someone that has an extreme personality, when they make changes, they tend to be extreme changes.”

The documentary said Simmons lives in a “beautiful Hollywood Hills estate” in Los Angeles and he’s a “master of disguise.”

Ultimately, the movie claimed Simmons left public life behind after getting a double knee replacement that affected his ability to exercise.