Iconic fitness guru Richard Simmons has had a rough, and mysterious, couple of years.
In 2014, the 1980s star abruptly closed his famed fitness studio, Slimmons, and then vanished from the public eye. Since then, Simmons has stayed behind the walls of his Los Angeles home and made very few public comments.
According to earlier reports, the 68-year-old rarely steps out of his house, meaning few fans have caught a glimpse of the star since his “sudden disappearance.”
His absence has ignited a whirlwind of speculation, and even inspired a hit podcast, but Simmons isn’t pleased with the vicious tabloid gossip.Harry Langdon/Getty Images
In May, Simmons filed a defamation lawsuit against the National Enquirer, RadarOnline, and the publications’ owner, American Media, after they reported that the fitness star was transitioning into a woman.
Their source? One of Simmons’s old friends, Mauro Oliveira, who allegedly provided the media outlets with private information about the fitness guru and even “blackmailed” him.
According to “Good Morning America,” Oliveira filed a declaration late Thursday that claimed he never said Simmons was transitioning into a woman. The declaration read:
Michael Kovac/Getty Images
Although I may have said that Richard Simmons’s chest looks like a chest of someone who might be on hormones, I never stated that Richard Simmons is now a woman, had breast implants, or had sex-change surgery.
After Simmons filed the lawsuit, American Media fired back at the fitness star. They stood by their reporting and claimed that calling Simmons transgender wasn’t defamatory. They told ABC:
“It’s the height of sophistry to claim to be a supporter of LGBTQ rights, yet also claim to be defamed by being identified as transgender… AMI stands by its reporting.”
However, it seems that Simmons will take extreme measures to prove his point.
On Friday, his lawyer revealed on “Good Morning America” that the fitness guru would be willing to have his “body inspected” to prove that he is not transitioning into a woman.Screenshot/GMA
The lawyer said:
“He’s private and would like to stay that way. If he has to come forward and testify and have his body examined, so be it.”
The defamation case heads to court on August 30 when a judge will decide if it can proceed. If it does, it looks like Simmons is in for a fight.
You can watch Simmons’s lawyer’s interview on “Good Morning America” below: