The world has been in a lather of recent weeks about the whereabouts and health of fitness icon Richard Simmins, in the wake of the runaway popularity of podcast series Missing Richard Simmons.
The astoundingly popular web show has raised growing fears about the safety of the 80s aerobics guru, who suddenly disappeared from public view after apparently becoming an extreme recluse. The podcasts have popularised theories that he may be under the control of his maid, who one of the star’s friends dramatically described as a ‘witch’.
Now Richard’s brother Lenny has spoken to Entertainment Tonight about the missing star, shooting down the more bizarre and out-there theories – and claiming he ‘needs some time for himself.’
‘I talked to him on Sunday, he was doing great. He was asking about our renovations to our home. And we had just gone to see the Broadway musical, Beautiful,’ Lenny said.
‘We talk every Sunday. He calls me and we have a great conversation and then he talks to my wife. He probably talks to my wife longer than he talks to me.
‘After all those years, I don’t know how he did it. He was on 24/7, at least. ... People were always calling him and he was always good enough to want to talk to them.’
Lenny also defended maid Teresa Reveles, amid claims she is supposedly controlling Richard and keeping him away from his friends and fans.
‘Teresa is a very lovely lady. She has been a good friend of my brother for over 20 some odd years.
‘It stresses me to hear that people think that she is holding him hostage or that she is mean. She isn’t. She is a very nice person.
‘My brother certainly deserves his vacation. I certainly cannot fault him for wanting to do that.’