Trying to figure out the reasons behind Richard Simmons' mysterious disappearance from the public spotlight three years ago has become a bit of a national pastime. And recently, the fitness guru has increasingly become a big part of the pop culture conversation as gossip surrounding his disappearance has gotten louder. Now his longtime rep, Michael Catalano, is trying to clear up any rumors, including those that he is transitioning into a woman.
“I said to him the other day, ‘There are people that think you are a very overweight, depressed woman.’ And he laughed. He just laughed,” Richard's rep told PEOPLE, adding that he weighs in at 150 pounds currently and has a salt-and-pepper beard. Michael added that he has seen Richard as recently as last week and notes that he is “in excellent health, as far as I know.”
Michael noted that the fitness star knows that people are talking about him and discussing those transitioning rumors, which were first published in the tabloid, National Enquirer, and later discussed on the Missing Richard Simmons podcast. But Michael is here to shut that gossip down once and for all. “That was absolutely untrue, hurtful, and very, very damaging to Richard personally. He’s very aware of what’s happening, you know, but it’s tough," he said.
As for Richard's decision to live a more low-key life, his rep added, “It was always about everybody else first, and I think this is a little bit reflection time. It doesn’t mean he’s done, but for now, he’s enjoying the time away from the public.”
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