Much has been speculated as to the whereabouts and activity of exercise guru Richard Simmons since he disappeared from the public eye in 2014. Now, his friend and former massage therapist said he's being tormented by "witchcraft" and "black magic" at the hands of his housekeeper.
Mauro Oliveira spoke to the New York Daily News about his thoughts regarding Simmons' whereabouts. In the interview, published on March 12, Oliveira said he became concerned after Simmons called him in 2014 saying they needed to talk. Oliveira then reportedly visited Simmons' home and the fitness guru told him they could no longer associate with each other.
Oliveira was quickly thrown out of the house after Simmons' housekeeper, Teresa Reveles shouted at him to leave.
When Oliveira asked Simmons if Reveles was controlling his life, Simmons reportedly answered, "yes."
"I think it was [caused by] black magic, witchcraft," Oliveira said. "That’s not close to your culture, but to my culture in Brazil, and to Mexicans, that is a real thing. They invoke the spirits."
Reveles is from Mexico.
"It's extremely hard to explain to you how someone is when they are tormented by bad force," Oliveira added. "That's the thing. F***ing Teresa is putting black magic on him."
In 2015, police responded to a tip about elder abuse at Simmons' home, TMZ reported. Though Simmons reportedly answered the door sporting a beard and walking with a limp, LAPD officials said he appeared to be in good health.
"I just want to spend time with myself," he told the police, according to TMZ. He added that he was "exhausted" after three decades as a public figure. Michael Catalano, Simmons' manager, said Simmons was "depressed" about a knee injury he sustained at the time.
Simmons' last public appearance was on Jan. 1, 2014, at a charity event.
"Richard is enjoying life at home after a 40-year career of traveling the world and inspiring people to take better care of themselves," Catalano told the Daily News. "He is working on several projects and continues to encourage those that need his help.”