Fitness guru Richard Simmons, who vanished from the public's view two years ago, has denied being held hostage in his Hollywood mansion.
Simmons spoke by phone to the Today show's Savannah Guthrie after an article in the New York Daily News suggested Simon’s housekeeper, Teresa Reveles, had been controlling him.
Guthrie asked him about the report.
“No one is holding me in my house as a hostage,” he responded. “You know, I do what I want to do as I've always done so people should sort of just believe what I have to say because, like, I'm Richard Simmons!"
The Sweatin' to the Oldies host dismissed the claims as “silly” and said: “Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years. It's almost like we're a married couple."
Simmons’ former assistant, Mauro Oliveira, says he's being prevented from seeing Simmons. He told Good Morning America on Monday he thinks it's about money.
Simmons’ rep, Tom Estey said the claims that Simmons is being held against his will are "absolutely untrue.” He told ABC News: “It’s ridiculous because this is really a non-story.”
Simmons was last seen in public at the 2013 Thanksgiving Day Parade.
"I just sort of wanted to be a little bit of a loner for a little while,'' Simmons told Guthrie on Monday. "You know, I had hurt my knee, and I had some problems with it, and then the other knee started giving me trouble because I've taught like thousands and thousands of classes, and you know right now I just want to sort of take care of me."
Simmons shot down rumors that he doesn't want to be seen because he has gained considerable weight. He says he is working out at home.
He ended the conversation with Guthrie by saying: “For all the people that were worrying about me, I want to tell them that I love them with my whole heart and soul and that not to worry, Richard's fine. You haven't seen the last of me. I'll come back, and I'll come back strong."