This is unimaginably tragic.
The team did release a statement on the matter, though (below):
What on earth is going on with Richard Simmons?!
According to Richard's close friend and former masseuse Mauro Oliveira, the exercise guru is being held HOSTAGE by his housekeeper of three decades (Teresa Reveles) and longtime manager. The claims come on the heels of Simmons' recent disappearance from the spotlight and out of character behavior.
Not only has the once fun loving man stopped taking calls and teaching classes, he has also missed the funerals of loved ones. Needless to say, the situation is very alarming.
Now here's where things get even more complicated and interesting — Mauro claims upon visiting Richard in April 2014, he was thrown out by Teresa after a terrifying scene.
"I don't know. I just want to be by myself, and I want to be in the house, and we're never going to see each other again."
Instead of giving up, Mauro talked down the California resident and had him agree to a massage. When Richard told Teresa that his friend would be accompanying him upstairs, the housekeeper allegedly FREAKED OUT:
"No, no, no. Get out! Get out!"
That's when things got really weird. Mr. Simmons then told his buddy that he had to go in a very soft voice. Mauro then asked Rich if the maid was "controlling his life" to which he quietly replied "yes".
After the crazy visit, Oliveira was threatened with a restraining order:
"Later that evening, Richard called me and said that his manager and Teresa wanted to put a restraining order against me — you can see how controlling they are — and I said, ‘What restraining order? You are the one who called me. I'm not invading your privacy, or your house.' That was the end of that. No restraining order was put against me."
With nowhere to turn, Mauro is speaking out on what he describes as a clearly horrifying situation:
"I feel that Richard is now being controlled by the very people that he controlled his whole life. Controlled in the sense that they are taking advantage of his weak mental state. Controlled in the sense that they are controlling his mail, controlling his everything. His brother, the manager and Teresa. Those three people."
As for the "weak mental state", the pal is most likely referring to a knee injury Richard suffered a few years back in addition to the death of his beloved dog. Those two setbacks have allegedly left the fitness buff depressed.
A friend who chose not to be named also confirmed Mauro's fears:
"We were very close. It's not something that I want to seek publicity about, but we are very concerned. Teresa did turn me away several times. He has missed funerals of close friends. He was the most reliable and caring person on the planet, and then to suddenly vanish? I have come to believe that something else is happening. I don't think Richard is in there of his own volition."
Ugh. How tragic if true.
In response to the allegations, Simmons' manager had this to say:
"Richard is enjoying life at home after a 40-year career of traveling the world and inspiring people to take better care of themselves. He is working on several projects and continues to encourage those that need his help. I can tell you absolutely 100% that is not the case. If Richard wants to get in his car and drive to Starbucks, no one is telling him he can't. In response to ‘the housekeeper is keeping him captive,' I can tell you that it is 100% not true. It's ridiculous. Richard has always been someone who makes up his own mind what he wants to do."
You can read the full and terrifying accounts from Richard's loved ones and friends HERE.
[Image via WENN.]