Lenny Simmons is speaking out on behalf of his brother Richard Simmons, who was last spotted in public more than three years ago.
With popular podcast Missing Richard Simmons fuelling rumours the 68-year-old fitness guru was transitioning into a woman or being held hostage in his Hollywood Hills home, his 70-year-old brother reveals to People the mysterious whereabouts of the famed aerobics instructor, who embraced a life in the public eye for nearly 40 years.
“My brother is fine,” Simmons tells the magazine. “He’s not sick. There’s nothing medically wrong with him at all. These things about him transitioning to a woman are ridiculous. My wife Cathy and I were out there for Christmas and spent five days with him and I can assure you, he’s not transitioning into anything but himself.”
Last summer, the actor caused worry among fans after he was hospitalized for dehydration. Simmons explains, “After 40-some-odd years, he decided that he wants to rest. He’s 68 years old now and he’s in good health, but he just wants time for himself.”
The actor’s longtime rep, Michael Catalano, also tells People that Simmons is “in excellent health, as far as I know.” He says, “It was always about everyone else first, and I think this is a little bit of reflection time. It doesn’t mean he’s done, but for now, he’s enjoying the time away from the public.”
Catalano adds that the transitioning rumours are “absolutely untrue, hurtful, and very, very damaging to Richard personally.” He tells the magazine, “He’s very aware of what’s happening, you know, but it’s tough.”