Scroll To Top

What’s Going on in the Richard Simmons Saga?

richard simmons

Richard Simmons is suing two tabloids for libel after they published stories claiming he was in the process of transitioning. 

Richard Simmons, who has been the focus of several tabloid stories and a podcast about his reputation as a recluse, is suing The National Enquirer and Radar Online for libel, reports The New York Times.

Simmons, the celebrity fitness instructor, said the tabloids defamed him by publishing misleading stories that claimed he was transitioning from male to female. The lawsuit states that the two publications published stories "with calculated malice" against him.

"Mr. Simmons, like every person in this nation, has a legal right to insist that he not be portrayed as someone he is not," stated his lawyers in the suit. "Even the most ardent supporter of sexual autonomy and L.G.B.T.Q. rights is entitled to be portrayed in a manner that is truthful."

The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Simmons is suing both publications for four counts of libel and one count of invasion of privacy.

Simmon's lawyers claim that the source for the misleading stories was Mauro Oliveira, a former assistant to Simmons who is accused in the lawsuit of stalking and blackmailing Simmons for several years.

Oliveira allegedly told the Enquirer that Simmons had become a recluse because he was "spiritually broken" and was being held hostage by a housekeeper who performed witchcraft, along with a claim that Simmons was transitioning from male to female, the Times reports. Oliveira went on a podcast called Missing Richard Simmons, which explores why Simmons disappeared from the public eye and reiterates the stories that had been published by the Enquirer.

The Enquirer and Radar Online both released a statement, calling Simmons "hypocritical."

"For decades, Richard Simmons has used his outrageous behavior to build his brand and his bank account," said the written statement. "For Mr. Simmons to now claim that his privacy has been invaded is hypocritical when his entire livelihood is based upon the public consumption of his image."

Samantha Barbas, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law, told the Times she's unsure Simmons will win his case. "It's an untested area, and I think it would be an open question as to whether or not it's capable of a defamatory meaning," she said.

Advocate Magazine - Gio BenitezAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories