Richard Simmons Shares Hopeful Message After Not Being Seen for 10 Years

The retired fitness guru has been unusually vocal this month.

A biopic about Richard Simmons is officially in the works by way of Wolper Organization and actor Pauly Shore, who will portray the eccentric fitness guru. Simmons has made it clear on social media that he has nothing to do with the project—but if his rare statement was a surprise, his lack of involvement wasn't. As fans know all too well, the once omnipresent TV personality hasn't been seen in a decade, when he retired from public life.

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In Feb. 2014, Simmons shut down his famed Beverly Hills exercise studio and disappeared from the spotlight completely. Since then, he has amicably parted ways with his longtime manager, Michael Catalano, and press representative, Tom Estey.

Two years into retirement, Simmons shared with Today that he was looking forward to living a more private and reclusive life—focusing on his mental and physical health after dedicating so many years of his own life to bettering his community.

It's been 10 years since Simmons last graced a fitness studio publicly, and while speculation surrounding his absence died down, the biopic announcement has returned him to the spotlight. The release of the short film The Court Jester, which also features Shore as Simmons, has only exacerbated the situation.

Now 75, Simmons is becoming uncharacteristically vocal, as he says he's still dealing with bullying on a regular basis. In a rare Facebook post, he opened up about his struggles with bullying, and understanding the importance of self-love.

"For as long as I can remember, people have made fun of me. And people still to this day make fun of me. But you know what? I am glad to be me!" Simmons began.

Wherever his fans may be in their fitness or personal journeys, Simmons stressed, "You should be glad that you are you."

Before signing off, the retired fitness icon suggested three songs for self-gratitude and inspiration. They were "I Will Survive" and "I Am What I Am" by Gloria Gaynor, and "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman.

"These songs will uplift you," Simmons promised.

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Ever since the news about his biopic broke, Simmons' Facebook posts have become less and less sporadic—taking many of his followers by surprise, given the celebrity's private demeanor over the last 10 years.

In the last week alone, Simmons has published five posts rooted in positivity and happiness. He recently gave a shout out to his former team, led by Catalano and Estey, both of whom he "respects" very much.

He also challenged his followers to forgive those who may have wronged them in the past. As Simmons so cleverly put it, "Just remember, a grudge leads to fudge." In light of the world at large, Simmons also shared a hopeful message of positivity to his online friends.

"I don't know what you are going through in your life, but I want you to stay as positive as you can. Things will get better. I promise you," he wrote.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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