A representative for Richard Simmons has vehemently denied a tabloid report that the fitness and lifestyle guru has secretly transitioned into a woman.
The cover of this week’s National Enquirer, released Wednesday, purports to reveal a shocking photo of the 67-year-old fitness guru dressed as a female with his new chosen name, Fiona.
“[This is] not just Richard Simmons in drag,” a friend of the star told the tabloid. “This is Richard dressed as a softly spoken woman named Fiona!”
According to the report, Simmons, who has not been seen in public in more than two years, secretly underwent breast implant surgery and hormone therapy to complete his transition into a woman.
However, a representative for Simmons forcefully denied the Enquirer‘s report in a statement to Breitbart News.
“The story is not true and a complete fabrication,” Simmons rep Tom Estey said.
Simmons was hospitalized late Friday night when he reportedly began exhibiting “bizarre” behavior. The star later told TMZ he was suffering from dehydration and that he felt much better, but he reportedly did not leave the hospital until Monday.
The Enquirer claims Simmons has made secret trips out of his Hollywood Hills home dressed as a woman for the past several months.
Simmons has become a virtual recluse in recent years, with friends close to the fitness star concerned he was being held at his home against his will. In March, Simmons told Entertainment Tonight that he simply wanted to be left alone to nurse a knee injury, and called reports of his private behavior “very hurtful.”
“I love all the people who worry about me,” Simmons told ET. “But it was time for me to take some time to be by myself. For the last 40 years I have been traveling, teaching classes, and I had a knee injury, so I had a knee replacement, which was very difficult for me… I have really just been taking it easy, staying at home, working out in my gym and doing the things I haven’t done in a very long time.”
At 67 years old, Simmons would be two years older than Bruce Jenner, who transitioned into a woman last year at the age of 65.
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