Richard Simmons isn’t shy. Especially when it comes to defending himself when the New York Daily depicts him as being held hostage at his Hollywood Hills home.

Richard Simmons in 2011. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
His last public appearance in 2013 has led some to worry about the weight-loss maven who had a long run of David Letterman appearances.

The New York tabloid said friends of the 67-year-old entertainer “fear that the next news they hear will be the worst, and be left to wonder if they should have been more aggressive in their attempts to save him.”

The paper quoted one of Simmons’ longtime friends as saying: “If he had any say in the matter, he would reach out to any of us. I’m very suspicious, as it just doesn’t make sense. It’s very bizarre. It’s beyond mysterious. If something is going on, we want to be there for him. We want to support him.”

“The mind slips to dark places, when deprived of information,” the paper concluded.

Then Simmons in a phone interview with “Entertainment Tonight” on Sunday says: “I am just in my house right now. I love all the people who worry about me.

“But it was time for me to take some time to be by myself. For the last 40 years I have been traveling, teaching classes, and I had a knee injury, so I had a knee replacement, which was very difficult for me. I have really just been taking it easy, staying at home, working out in my gym and doing the things I haven’t done in a very long time.

“I still weigh 150. I work out every day. I have a gym at the house, and I am very healthy.”

Simmons also spoke up on social media:

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