Richard Simmons’ fans continue to worry about the fitness mogul’s well-being, but his older brother, Lenny, says they have nothing to be concerned about.
Lenny appeared on Dan Taberski’s podcast, Missing Richard Simmons, this week and spoke with Entertainment Tonight about his brother’s disappearance from the public eye.
Although Lenny does not see his brother often, since he lives in New Orleans and Richard in Los Angeles, the two do talk about the phone every week.
"I talked to him on Sunday, he was doing great. He was asking about our renovations to our home. And we had just gone to see the Broadway musical, Beautiful," Lenny recalls. "We talk every Sunday. He calls me and we have a great conversation and then he talks to my wife. He probably talks to my wife longer than he talks to me."
Richard has not been seen in public for over three years, but the 68-year-old told the Today show during a phone interview that he does leave his home and takes walks.
Lenny has not appreciated the negative comments made about Richard’s housekeeper, Teresa Reveles. "Teresa is a very lovely lady. She has been a good friend of my brother for over 20 some odd years," he insists. "It stresses me to hear that people think that she is holding him hostage or that she is mean. She isn't. She is a very nice person."
Despite everyone’s concerns, Lenny reassured Richard’s fans that this is the way he wants to live. “My brother certainly deserves his vacation,” he says. “I certainly cannot fault him for wanting to do that.”
Lenny adds, "I would just hope people [can] be a little bit more respectful and realize that he's worked hard and he still loves people -- but he needs some time for himself."