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Richard Simmons speaks publicly for first time in over a year

Richard Simmons reassured his fans that he is

Richard Simmons reassured his fans that he is OK. Photo Credit: Invision / Richard Shotwell

In his first personal statements to the public in more than a year, Richard Simmons reassured fans Wednesday that he is fine after being hospitalized this week, and that despite tabloid concerns he has not gone missing.

“Hello to everyone who has shown concern for me and sent their good wishes,” the reclusive fitness guru, 68, posted on his verified Facebook page. “You will never know how much it means to me. Aren’t you sick of hearing and reading about me?! LOL Well by now you know that I’m not ‘missing,’ just a little under the weather. I’m sure I will be feeling good and back home in a couple of days.”

Simmons’ manager, Michael Catalano, said Tuesday that Simmons had been hospitalized in California on Monday “after a few days of battling severe indigestion and discomfort while eating,” and was “already feeling better and is expected to make a full recovery.” 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 since early 2014 because he is being held hostage by his housekeeper, a charge Simmons, Catalano and Simmons’ spokesman, Tom Estey, all have denied.

“This has reminded me that when you need help you can’t be afraid to reach out and ask for it,” Simmons’ statement continued. “We all think we should always be able to solve our problems all by ourselves and sometimes it’s just bigger than we are.”

He added, “I reached out and I hope you will too. I’m sure there are people in your life who love and care for you and would do anything to help you with the challenges you face. Just knowing you care has already made me feel better. Hope to see you again soon!”

Simmons last spoke out publicly in March 2016, saying in a phone call to NBC’s “Today,” “No one is holding me in my house as a hostage.”

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