Shared from the 2017-03-08 Chattanooga eEdition

Richard Simmons’ rep denies housekeeper is controlling star

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ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Richard Simmons speaks to the audience before the start of a summer salad fashion show at Grand Central Terminal in New York in 2006.

Richard Simmons’ publicist is speaking out in defense of the reclusive weight-loss guru amid the launch of a popular podcast that seeks to find out why Simmons has been missing from the public eye.

“Missing Richard Simmons” is hosted by Dan Taberski, a f ilmmaker who describes himself as a friend of Simmons. On a recent episode, Simmons’ former masseuse and friend Mauro Oliveira said Simmons is being controlled by his housekeeper.

Simmons publicist Tom Estey denied Oliveira’s claims in an interview with People magazine. Estey told People that Simmons has made a choice “to live a more private life.” He said when Simmons “decides that he wants to come back, that’s when he’ll come back.”

Estey said he’s not cooperating with Taberski’s podcast.

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