Exercise guru Richard Simmons has broken his multi-year silence with a Facebook post on Wednesday. After the premiere of the TMZ documentary about Simmons’ public disappearance, the beloved fitness icon, 74, thanked his fans in a well-received social media post captioned, “Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and love! Love, Richard.”
Simmons’ Facebook Followers Wanted To Thank Him!
Simmons’ Facebook page has 407,000 followers. His gratitude post was liked more than 38,000 times and had nearly 6,000 uplifting comments. This post was his first public message to his fans in six years.
“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. Good for you Thank you for blessing and inspiring me so richly “
“No, thank you! Please take care of you. Hope you are well friend “
“We’re so happy you’re well! Miss you so much “
“We love you We miss you We don’t want anything from you but just your happiness!!! God Bless you!“
“You have been such a wonderful human, with so much compassion and care for so many people. The world loves you. I hope you are enjoying your time to yourself now, and have everything you could ever want, because you deserve that.”
“Richard! I love you dearly! You were the only person that truly understood the battle. I still have every tape you made. You’re truly a beautiful human being!“
“Thank you for everything you’ve done to help me stay motivated on my health since I was a child in the 1980s. You are the best! Let your light shine! “
“We Thank YOU !! Also we All Miss You!! We wish you good health & happiness always!“
Simmons Has Met Many People Throughout His Fitness Career
Simmons became a household name in the 1980’s with his fun and energetic workout videos geared toward all people regardless of shape, size, or age. His 1988 VHS “Sweatin’ To The Oldies” grossed more than $200 million, becoming the biggest selling workout tape of all time. So, it’s no wonder that many rushed to the comments to leave their own words of gratitude. Tons of people added photos of them with Simmons to the comments, told their stories of how he helped them through tough times, and how thankful they are for his kindness.
Michael Catalano, Simmons’ manager, confirmed the post’s authenticity to PEOPLE. “This was a personal post from Richard,” he said. “He was moved by the reaction to the special and all the good wishes that he received. He was encouraged by the kindness.”
Tom Estey, Simmons’ rep, told The Post, “Richard is eternally grateful for the continuous outpouring of love and gratitude he has received from across the globe. He is happy, healthy and living the life he has chosen to live.”
Where Did He Go And Why So Suddenly?
It’s been years since the famous fitness guru was seen in public. He stopped teaching at his workout studio in February 2014 and disappeared completely. Rumors started to swirl that he could possibly be held hostage in his Hollywood Hills home by his housekeeper, as well as other theories fueled by the “Missing Richard Simmons” podcast. While Simmons hasn’t been seen in public since 2014, he did phone into the “Today” show in 2016 to put an end to the rumor that he was being held hostage by his housekeeper.
According to the documentary, Simmons was having trouble with his knee in 2014 and ended up having a right knee replacement that left him in a lot of pain. He was told he needed a left knee replacement as well, but he allegedly refused to have the operation. The documentary alleges that the knee problems Simmons was having came from a “birth defect” where he was “born without a full set of bones in his foot.”
In the TMZ documentary, which aired on FOX, his disappearance from the public eye is examined with interviews from people who knew him well. “TMZ Investigates: What Really Happened to Richard Simmons” can be seen on Hulu now and will stream for free on Tubi beginning August 30.