Reclusive fitness guru Richard Simmons was recovering Tuesday after being hospitalized for a gastrointestinal disorder.
“Richard Simmons was hospitalized on Monday at an undisclosed location in California,” Simmons’ manager, Michael Catalano, told ABC News Tuesday. “After a few days of battling severe indigestion and discomfort while eating, we agreed it was best for him to seek treatment.”
He added that Simmons, 68, was “already feeling better and is expected to make a full recovery.”
Simmons — who had been making 250 personal appearances a year before dropping out of public sight in early 2014, due to what he said was a knee injury — has not commented on social media.
On April 6, he announced he had signed a deal with Catalano’s brand-management company, Prominent Brand + Talent. A company co-founder, Dan Levin, said the firm planned to launch a line of “motivation and inspiration-based products.” Simmons’ existing merchandising has generated more than $1.5 billion through such outlets as Amazon.com, the cosmetics company Avon, the home-shopping cable network QVC, the footwear retailer Payless and the department-store chain Wal-Mart, among others, according to the licensing trade magazine License Global.
Simmons reportedly was hospitalized in June after behaving strangely and becoming incoherent at his Hollywood Hills home and being admitted to Cedars-Sinai medical center for observation. Following reports that Simmons was discharged after a day, his spokesman, Tom Estey, said in a statement, “He’s just fine,” without giving details or confirming the hospitalization.
Interest in Simmons has spiked due to the hit podcast “Missing Richard Simmons,” which has asserted that the fitness maven has not been seen publicly because he is being held hostage by his housekeeper. Estey told People magazine last month that such claims were “a complete load of crap,” saying, “Richard made a choice. To live a more private life. If he decides to come back, he’ll come back.” Simmons himself responded to the persistent rumors in March 2016, saying in a phone call to NBC’s “Today,” “No one is holding me in my house as a hostage.”