Richard Simmons, the 67-year-old flamboyant, swishing exercise guru who used to be a ubiquitous presence on TV talk shows, had not appeared in public for several years now — nearly 1,000 days.
His disappearance even got national coverage in a March 12, 2016 article in Vanity Fair, which claimed that Simmons had become “a prisoner in his own home”. Just last week, there were reports that he had collapsed and briefly was hospitalized in Los Angeles for dehydration.
Speculations about why he’d gone into hiding included poor health, depression, and Simmons being controlled by sinister personal aides — his business manager, housekeeper, and bodyguards.
Now, National Enquirer and Radar Online are reporting that Simmons had secretly undergone “sex-change” surgery and now wants to be known as Fiona.
So-called “sex-change” surgery actually does not change one’s sex, which is determined by one’s DNA, specifically by the sex chromosomes — XX chromosomes for females; XY chromosomes for males. What “sex-change” surgery actually is is surgical body mutilation. In Simmons’ case, reportedly he had breast implants and castration — the surgical removal of his penis and testicles.
And while Simmons has yet to make a public announcement, he’s secretly been venturing out of his Hollywood Hills home dressed as a woman for months, which was reported by Radar last March. Even before the treatments when he was promoting his exercises and exercise studios, Simmons often appeared in public wearing tiny tutus, dresses and other womenswear.
Simmons’ publicist Tom Estey has denied the Enquirer‘s story, calling it “total crap”.
The Enquirer‘s rebuttal to the denial is this photo of Simmons: