Richard Simmons made an extremely rare public statement on Thursday to celebrate his 75th birthday.
Although she did not share a personal message with the public and her fans, she did allow her representative to speak on her behalf.
‘This is a huge milestone. I just want to see him happy, and he is,” his rep Tom Estey said of the special occasion for Eastern Time.
It’s a rare form of communication from the former fitness guru, who has been largely hidden from the public eye since 2014.
He was previously seen in 2017 when he left a hospital after being treated for severe indigestion.
Proof: Richard Simmons, who has largely hidden from public view, issued a rare statement on Thursday to celebrate his 75th birthday; seen in October 2013 in New York
Update: ‘This is a huge milestone. I just want to see him happy, which is what he is,” his rep Tom Estey told ET about the special occasion; photographed in 1992 in Los Angeles
Wishing her the best: Although Simmons hasn’t made a public appearance in nearly a decade, that didn’t stop a group of well-wishers from stopping by her house Thursday to celebrate her 75th birthday.
However, he tried to avoid being seen by covering himself almost from head to toe with a blanket, which required his housekeeper to lead him to a waiting car.
Despite Simmons’s last few years of loneliness, fans showed he was still in their hearts and minds when they stopped by his house on Thursday to wish him a happy 75th birthday in person.
Although they probably didn’t see it in person, two people were seen carrying birthday balloons and a banner that read “Happy Birthday Richard!” We love you!’
His stepping out of the spotlight shocked many friends and fans at the time, even spawning an investigative podcast, documentaries, and half-hearted claims that his housekeeper was holding him hostage.
Since 2014, Simmons has only spoken to the public through a few phone interviews and rare statements from her representatives.
Earlier, fans got news of the Sweatin’ To The Oldies star when a friend shared details about his current life with Eastern Time in 2018, just before his 70th birthday.
He’s doing very well. It’s his jovial self. He spends most of his time at home and in his garden,” the source claimed at the time.
They added that he had been making progress in his ‘reading’ queue and that he ‘does what he wants to do’.
“He deserves this time to himself,” the friend continued. “Seventy years is a milestone, but he doesn’t see it that way.”
Simmons’ quiet years couldn’t be a greater contrast from when he was at the height of his fame in the 1980s and 1990s, when he opened his own exercise studio after losing more than 100 pounds.
The Beverly Hills studio, which came to be known as Slimmons, proved to be a popular spot for those looking to lose weight, as Simmons felt that gyms at the time were more focused on catering to people who were already in top shape, instead place of those who seek to be healthier.
He further increased his public profile with a series of appearances on game shows, talk shows, and even soap operas, but it was his videotape lineup in Sweatin’ To The Oldies that made him an inescapable part of the culture.
Sweet: Simmons fans were seen holding balloons and a banner reading ‘Happy Birthday Richard! We love you!’
Out of Sight: The Sweatin’ To The Oldies star has rarely addressed the public via a handful of phone interviews and statements from her representatives in nearly a decade; seen in 2013 at his now-defunct Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills
Fitness icon: Simmons rose to fame in the ’80s and ’90s with his Slimmons fitness studio and his hugely popular VHS tapes in the Sweatin’ To The Oldies series; seen in December 2013 in LA
His original 1988 tape was reportedly the best-selling fitness video of all time, grossing a staggering $200 million, according to the New York Post.
Simmons continued to make regular appearances until 2013, but then mysteriously dropped out of public life in 2014. Since then, he has never made any major public appearances and was very rarely seen leaving his home.
In 2017, the Missing Richard Simmons podcast investigated his withdrawal from public life and claims that his housekeeper was involved in keeping himself out of outside eyes.
It proved to be a hit with listeners, but critics were harsher on it, with many taking the view that it constituted an invasion of Simmons’ privacy as there was little evidence that he was being abused or controlled.
In March 2017, LAPD detectives visited Simmons’ home to perform a welfare check.
They later said he was “perfectly fine”, adding that he was “doing what he wants to do and it’s his own business”.
In the 2022 documentary TMZ Investigates: What Really Happened To Richard Simmons, the publication claimed that a birth defect that had been troubling him was the reason for his disappearance from the public eye.
“Something that happened to him at birth is directly related to his disappearance, a birth defect that significantly affected one of his legs,” said TMZ editor Fabian Garcia. “He was born without a complete set of bones in his foot and that causes physical and emotional problems.”
Charles Latibeaudiere, who produced the documentary, also claimed that he had gained a significant amount of weight after finding “comfort in food.”
“And that put a lot of stress on his knees,” he added.
Nothing to see here: LAPD detectives performed a wellness check on her home in 2017 and said she was “perfectly fine” afterward; seen in November 2013 in New York
Medical matter? A 2022 documentary claimed that he left the spotlight after gaining weight in 2014 due to a birth defect in his foot that made it difficult for him to move and exercise properly; seen in 2013 in Los Angeles
After the release of the document, Simmons shared a statement with the New York Post through your representative.
“Richard is forever grateful for the continued outpouring of love and gratitude he has received from around the world,” Estey said. “He is happy, healthy and lives the life he has chosen to live.”
Days later, Simmons shared a message on Facebook that was said to have been “personally composed” by him.
‘Thank you all for your kindness and love. Love, Richard,’ he wrote.