RICHARD Simmons was born with a defect and used it as motivation to get fit and healthy, a new documentary has revealed.
The fitness guru, famous for his edgy and colorful workout clothes, mysteriously disappeared from the spotlight in 2014.
The FOX documentary What Really Happened to Richard Simmons? tried to solve the mystery.
TMZ Editor-in-Chief Fabian Garcia revealed on the show that Simmons, 74, has been battling a birth defect.
Garcia said, “He was born without a full set of bones in his foot and that causes physical and emotional problems.”
He claimed it was “directly related to his disappearance.”
Simmons, who made his mark as a running coach, reportedly used the defect as a motivation to get fit and healthy.
He told People he launched his career after receiving an anonymous note on his car that read, “Fat people die young; please don’t die.”
He himself had weighed 268 pounds before making a lifestyle change and losing more than 100 pounds.
Documentary filmmaker Charles Latibeaudiere claimed Simmons found “comfort” in food during his childhood.
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The show featured a 1980 interview with Simmons in which he revealed he was the tallest kid in school.
He said: “I went to my first Halloween party dressed up as a couch. I was the one made fun of.”
Simmons seemed to slip out of the limelight after 2014.
TMZ founder Harvey Levin told Fox4 they had two possible answers as to the reasons for his disappearance.
He said he [Simmons] was everywhere… and then it all just ended. There are all kinds of wild theories.”
“We have answers — we know what happened to Richard Simmons, where he is and what he’s doing,” Levin added.
“There are two big things and probably one could have caused this, one more than the other.”
Levin added: “We found out that he likes going to the beach, he likes to go shopping.
“There hasn’t been a single paparazzi agency in more than eight years that has released anything by Richard Simmons.”
Simmons’ mysterious disappearance prompted social media users to speculate about his whereabouts.
One claimed he was allegedly being held hostage by his housekeeper.
However, Simmons’ brother Lenny denied the strange rumours, adding that he “takes care of himself”.
He said in 2017 that Simmons “just wants time to himself.”
Simmons spokesman Tommy Estey said: “He has helped millions of people lose millions of pounds. And for 40 years he took care of everyone but himself.”
And other unsubstantiated rumors falsely speculated that Simmons had changed his gender – claims once again rebuked by his team.
In 2017, the fitness guru addressed his fans head-on when he said, “Hope to see you soon!”
He shared the news after reportedly being hospitalized for severe digestive problems.
He explained that he feels under the weather.
Simmons posted archival footage on his YouTube channel during the Covid-19 pandemic.
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/6059045/richard-simmons-birth-defect-vanished-public-life/ Richard Simmons’ doctor reveals a secret birth defect that made him a superstar and then forced him to disappear from public life