Health

Richard Simmons Hospitalized For 'Severe Indigestion'

| by Michael Howard

Fitness guru Richard Simmons is recovering after being hospitalized April 17 for "severe indigestion," according to his rep.

"Richard Simmons was hospitalized on Monday at an undisclosed location in California," Michael Catalano told ABC News. "After a few days of battling severe indigestion and discomfort while eating, we agreed it was best for him to seek treatment."

"He’s already feeling better and is expected to make a full recovery," Catalano added.

Sources told TMZ that the issue was not serious enough to require an ambulance, and that Simmons was driven to the hospital by members of his inner circle.

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The 68-year-old fitness icon hasn't made a public appearance since 2014, leading to a wave of speculation about his health and personal life, and inspiring the viral podcast "Missing Richard Simmons."

In June 2016, Simmons took to Facebook to dispel rumors that he was undergoing a transition to female.

"Some tabloids have recently falsely reported that I am transitioning," he wrote, according to E! News. "In response, I feel compelled to set the record straight and refute these lies. Although I am not transitioning, I have and always will be supportive of those who are going through their journey."

Months prior to that statement, he denied rumors that he was being sequestered against his will during a March 13 phone interview with TODAY.

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"No one is holding me in my house as a hostage," he told Savannah Guthrie of TODAY. "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!"

Asked about reports that his housekeeper, Teresa Reveles, was dictating his life, Simmons dismissed the idea as "silly."

"That's just very silly," he said. "Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years. It's almost like we're a married couple."

"I just sort of wanted to be a little bit of a loner for a little while," he explained. "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."

He added that he is healthy and plans to make a comeback.

"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," he said. "You haven't seen the last of me. I'll come back, and I'll come back strong."

His period of seclusion may be coming to an end. ABC News reports that Simmons recently signed a new business deal for "merchandising, endorsements and licensing opportunities." He is said to have pursued the deal himself.

Sources: ABC News, TMZ, E! News, TODAY / Photo Credit: Angela George/Wikimedia Commons

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