Conspiracy theorists are getting quite a workout over Richard Simmons‘ whereabouts.
So much, that the most popular podcast in America centers around the beloved fitness guru’s sudden disappearance from life outside his home.
Simmons has not been seen in public in nearly 1,100 days — and friends of the cardio king made some unnerving claims as to where he’s been.
In episode three of Missing Richard Simmons, which aired last week, Simmons’ longtime friend Mauro Oliveira repeated his startling allegations that the 68-year-old is being held captive by his housekeeper, Teresa Reveles.
Oliveira recalled his last face-to-face meeting with Simmons was in May 2014, three months after Richard stopped teaching his fitness classes and cut off contact:
“It was 6 p.m., and I went into his house. He was sitting in the living room, and he was very weakly, physically and mentally. He was trembling. He said, ├óΓé¼╦£Mauro. I called you here because we cannot see each other anymore. I’m just going to stay here.’ I thought of the worst. I thought the worst was going to happen. I thought he was suicidal.”
The former masseuse says he tried to get Simmons to go upstairs to his massage room so they could continue their chat, but the housekeeper stopped him.
“She realized that I was in the house, she started screaming like a witch, ├óΓé¼╦£No no no no, get out, get out! I don’t want him here!’ Richard looked at me and said, ├óΓé¼╦£You got to go.’ I said, ├óΓé¼╦£Really? Is she controlling your life now?’ and he said yes. And that I have to leave.”
Oliveira hasn’t seen Simmons since that fateful day, and neither have any of the TV personality’s former friends.
Dan Taberski, who created the podcast as one of the many former friends who grew concerned over his disappearance, spoke with several of Simmons’ friends to hear a similar story; all of them said they couldn’t get past Reveles to see the fitness instructor.
However, Simmons’ rep Tom Estey says the claims on the podcast are a “complete load of crap,” and that the workout star simply decided to step back from the spotlight and live a more private life.
Estey says the allegations against Reveles are completely false, telling People:
“Theresa has been working with him for, since I’ve been working with him [27 years]. So, holding him hostage is the biggest, I mean ├óΓé¼┬ª Theresa is the housekeeper, she’s the caretaker, she is extraordinary, she is amazing, she takes impeccable care of Richard and she has for as long as I have been working with Richard, so that is a complete load of crap.”
He also noted that Richard’s escape from the spotlight didn’t happen overnight, adding:
“Richard made a choice. To live a more private life. If he decides to come back, he’ll come back ├óΓé¼┬ª People claim that it happened overnight. It really didn’t. We were turning down stuff for years and just kind of quieting down, and when he decides that he wants to come back, that’s when he’ll come back, and when that will be, I have no idea or if he will at all. There really isn’t anything to report.”
Taberski, however, maintains that Oliveira’s re-telling holds up — except for his insisting that Reveles is using Mexican witchcraft to keep Simmons locked up in his home — noting that all he wants is “for Richard to get help, and be a happier person.”
There you have it, y’all. Richard Simmons is supposedly being held captive by his black magic-practicing housekeeper.
[Image via Facebook.]