What the heck happened to Richard Simmons?

Noisy energetic Richard Simmons used to be everywhere, and then all of a sudden he just disappeared. 

His fans and closest friends haven't seen him for years.  He supposedly is stuck inside his West Hollywood home, alone by himself, and there are all kinds of wild theories about what he's up to.

In fact just last year, The National Enquirer did a whole piece called "Richard Simmons Now A Woman — The Photos," in which they said Simmons had a sex change operation and changed his name to Fiona.

Three years after his departure from the public view, a podcast as come out trying to find an answer to the question, "What the heck happened to Richard Simmons?"

"Missing Richard Simmons," hosted by Dan Taberski, is the number 1 podcast on iTunes right now.

Taberski met Simmons in 2012.  He wanted to tell Simmons' story before he left the public eye, but when “he disappeared like he did, it just kind of made it more urgent," Taberski told "Nightline."

Taberski added:

"One day he stopped returning my emails and my phone calls. And I thought, ‘Well that stinks, that’s a drag.’ Then I realized he wasn’t calling anybody, or emailing anybody.”

Tom Estey, Simmons' publicist of 27 years, told ABC that they had nothing to do with the new podcast:

“We didn’t cooperate nor collaborate with this podcast. The truth is that Richard is fine and willingly enjoying his life outside the spotlight while still working behind the scenes to help those millions who desperately need his love and assistance... unfounded attempts to diminish the legacy of this true American treasure are simply shameful.”

Tabserski addressed criticism of his podcast:

“This isn’t a witch hunt, I just want to wish him well.  I haven’t talked to anybody who thinks Richard Simmons is fine.”

It would certainly be interesting to know what Simmons has been up to.  The answer is probably nowhere near as exciting as we'd like it to be though.

Maybe he's just ready to live the rest of his life quietly and in peace.  After decades of running around, screaming, and being "on" all the time, a low-key life must be very nice.

Read more at ABC News.

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