LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Richard Simmons wants his fans to know something: he’s doing just fine.
The 67-year-old fitness guru has been rumored to be in hiding after staying away from any public appearances over the last two years.
“I am not kidnapped,” Simmons told Entertainment Tonight. “I am just in my house right now.”
The flamboyant Simmons has long been known for taking his aerobics routine to various venues across the Southland, including UC Riverside, where in 2012 he lead students and faculty through a workout to promote community health and fitness.
He also led classes for years at his Beverly Hills studio, although there has been no sign of him lately.
Simmons, best known for his “Sweatin’ to the Oldies” fitness series, made his last public appearance in Dec. 2013, at the “SPARKLE: An All-Star Holiday Concert” at ACME Comedy in Los Angeles.
His long absence from the public eye prompted a report in the New York Daily News claiming that some in Simmons’ inner circle were concerned about his health.
But Simmons said there is no cause for grave concern.
However, he has been nursing a knee injury, he said, and is trying to avoid undergoing surgery on his other knee.
“No one should be worried about me,” Simmons told ET. “The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me.”
He took to Facebook to further diminish concerns.
Simmons said he’s still working out daily, and plans to make a comeback when he’s feeling ready.
“I am beloved and I love my fans and I love all the people who have worried about me, but it was time for me to take some time to be by myself,” he said. “I’m at peace. I’m feeling better, and I just need some time.”