Richard Simmons' step back from the spotlight isn't a surprise to everyone!
As you may know, there are currently a lot of rumors circulating about the fitness guru's MIA status — especially now that the podcast Missing Richard Simmons is highly ranked on iTunes. While Mr. Simmons' longtime rep, Tom Estey, claims the 68-year-old is doing just "fine," a former client of Richard's is now speaking out about the changes she saw in the weight loss expert over the years.
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Marie Garofalo, who was a regular at Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills for three years, has since opened up about how Richard's demeanor truly changed during those final years at his (recently closed down) fitness center. Marie revealed to People:
"When I first started going it was amazing. He was motivational, he had this AOL email address that he gave to people. I remember emailing him once and he got back to me within a day."
Awwwwww. That sounds like the Simmons we know and love!
"If you're listening to what people are saying [in the podcast], like that one woman he would call every Sunday — he was so invested in people. That is completely true. And he really seemed to care."
However, things began to change in 2013. According to Garofalo, Richard just wasn't the same after putting out his DVDs for Project Hope. The insider added:
"It would be a whole big deal for him to come in [to the class ], and he would take like 20 minutes to change and get ready. So there was that part of it. Then he would be doing the cool down and would just burst out crying… There were lots of regulars who were there every week, and we all just saw him deteriorate."
Oh man. Obviously, these outbursts became more and more troubling for his clients. Not to mention, Richard was clearly having physical troubles as well, as he began teaching workouts from a chair in 2014 due to knee problems. And, without warning, Simmons just stopped teaching classes altogether that same year. Marie relayed:
"I'm in a Slimmons Facebook group, and I remember someone posted and said, ‘It's so weird Richard isn't here.' Then it was like, ‘He's not going to be teaching for a month,' then it was like, ‘Okay, now it's two months.' He completely disappeared, doesn't email anybody. When people are saying he fell off the face of the earth, he really stopped communicating with anyone. It just completely stopped."
Wow. Of course, this account only fuels those pesky rumors that the TV personality was being held captive by his housekeeper, Teresa Reveles. Although, Estey has since denied these crazzzzzy accusations and noted that his client is simply living a more "private" lifestyle these days.
Huh. What do YOU think? Is there any truth to these insane rumors??
SOUND OFF in the comments (below)!
[Image via Instagram.]
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