Richard Simmons claims he’s been blackmailed for years, and he’s had enough

Richard Simmons alleges he’s been “blackmailed, extorted, and stalked” by his former associate Mauro Oliveira for the last several years.

He’s now suing The National Enquirer and its publishers.

The 68-year-old fitness icon claims Oliveira’s schemes are what have been keeping him out of the spotlight in recent years.

Related: Missing Richard Simmons podcast skyrockets to #1 on iTunes as fans worry he’s being held against his will

He accuses Oliveira — who isn’t named as a defendant in the suit — of selling patently false information to National Enquirer and its affiliate site, Radar Online. Both are properties of American Media, Inc.

People reports:

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that Oliveira — who was not named as a defendant in the suit — was selling false and libelous information about Simmons to the National Enquirer and Radar Online, both owned by American Media, Inc.

According to his lawyers’ court filing:

“Since early 2014, Mr. Simmons has taken a leave of absence from the media spotlight in order to retreat from his 40-year career in television, fitness and other arenas of entertainment. Starting from around May 2015, Mauro Oliveira, an individual who has blackmailed, extorted and stalked Mr. Simmons for several years with the intention of destroying the career and reputation of Mr. Simmons, contacted several press outlets, including the National Enquirer and Radar, and offered information on Mr. Simmons’s disappearance in exchange for a fee.”

Related: Police Rush To Richard Simmons’ Mansion After Concerned Friend Fears The Worst

The suit alleges Oliveira continually contacted the Enquirer, positing different theories as to why Simmons was in hiding.

First, it was reported he was “frail, weak, and spiritually broken.”

Second, he was “being held hostage by his housekeeper who was controlling Mr. Simmons, taking advantage of his weak mental state and engaging in witchcraft.”

Riveting stuff to be sure, but, Simmons says, wildly untrue.

Third, it was reported — again, falsely — that Simmons was transitioning.

The suit claims both Radar and the Enquirer “knew and acted in reckless disregard for the fact that the information provided by Mr. Oliveira was false and that he was not a credible or reliable source.”

Oliveira gave the following statement to People:

The allegations are false, and the real story about Richard Simmons will come out eventually. Any reference to monetary compensation is the money Richard Simmons owes Mr. Oliveira for his work done for him, and also for the help he promised me when I stopped working for him, and also for the health problems Richard Simmons caused Mr. Oliveira.”

Prior to the lawsuit, an American Media, Inc. spokesperson told People they don’t share their sources:

“While we have not seen Mr. Simmons’ complaint, we stand by our reporting about him, all of which was based on solid sourcing and material evidence. Should he choose to proceed with his lawsuit, we will defend it vigorously, and we look forward to the public vindication of our reports.”

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  • ChrisK

    Well, what’s left? That he’s gay? Lol

    • Mandrake

      He couldn’t possibly be gay. Much too macho!

  • Bob LaBlah

    My sincerest hope is that he is doing some serious meth or other types of drugs. That would be the perfect explanation as to why he thinks people actually care about his obnoxious, fluke ass. Every time he was on the daytime talk shows I would change the channel (as would the majority of other gay men) so why would we stop changing the channel now? A pathetic plea for publicity is the only way to describe her. Not even news pays her any attention.

    • Lvng1Tor

      And yet you took the time to read the article and didn’t care SO MUCH about him that you had to post a comment…about how much you don’t care. Sounds like someone’s fan letter didn’t get answered!

    • Bob LaBlah

      Thank you so much, Richard, for finally answering my “fan” letter (regardless of the clandestine manner). Seriously, who else but you would give a shit about YOU to even address my comment. Look at it this way, Yahoo, Reddit, news and a few other mediocre, not worthy of mention news sites all turned you down. But good ol’ Queerty put you out there. At least “something” showed they cared. And by the way, I still don’t.

    • gayjim1969

      You certainly chose the right moniker, “Blob LaBlah,” I mean, “Bob” or just “Blah!” You never have anything nice to say about anyone or anything, so why don’t you just say nothing at all?

    • Bob LaBlah

      I’m willing to bet that you too chose the right moniker. Gayjim1969? That sounds sooooooo original.

  • Hussain-TheCanadian

    “Well, what’s left? That he’s gay? Lol”

    earing that he’s being held by housekeeper while dibbling in “witch craft” rings true for some reason.

    • Hussain-TheCanadian


  • Jack Meoff

    I have always found Simmons to be creepy and unhinged and could never understand how he had the limited success that had. Why does anyone still care what he is doing?

    • Donston

      He had middle America housewife appeal. He was their gbf before having a gbf was such a thing.

      I do wish the man finds some peace/gets the help he needs.

  • Danny595

    Creepy + ugly + effeminate + closeted + no self-respect = Richard Simmons

    • JED08

      It must really suck to be you Danny.

    • Goforit

      JEDO8. I would be willing to bet that there is NO sucking going on in Danny’s life. Or any other “activity” for that matter. Life! You put garbage in, you are going to get garbage out.

    • Danny595

      lol. Look at the losers at Queerty defending a closet case. A closet case who stays in the closet even though everyone in the world knows he is gay. A closet case who does comedy skits where he gets degraded and beaten up, which is a validation of anti-gay violence. And a closet case who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but who has never donated a penny to gay civil rights. Sad!

    • Heywood Jablowme

      @Danny527: Ah, yes – that Trump-ian “Sad!” at the end. You must be a lot of fun on Twitter.

    • Chris2016

      He’s not closeted. There’s a clip on YouTube of him causally acknowledging that he’s Gay. It also looks like it was filmed sometime in the 80s.

      I listen to the Howard Stern show, which often had Richard on, and he spoke in favor of Gay rights on numerous occasions.

    • Danny595

      Chris2016 – What clip? Post the link. AFAIK, since he became famous in teh 1970s, he has never come out as gay. He wrote an autobiography which didn’t have one word about being gay. On the contrary, he mentions going out with girls. What a hypocrite. And who gives an F if he made some pro-gay statements on the Howard Stern show? How does that help anyone? The man has a net worth of 9 figures but he does nothing to help gay people decade after decade after decade. Not one penny to help gay youth. Not one penny to help gay elders. Not one penny to fight Prop 8. Nothing. How can you people support this degraded clown?

    • Donston

      The instinct to defend closet cases, to defend people who self-reject, to defend people who use their sexual “identity” to manipulate people and/or better themselves, to defend people who use their behavior and “identity” to indulge their megalomania or narcissism- it reminds me how a great percentage of gays still contend with self-hate or at least shame and an obsession with hetero-normalcy and dynamics. I get not caring. But some people go out of their way to defend and protect.

      However, Simmons is clearly a man who has been through a lot and has been mentally fragile for a long time. I see no point in going after him.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      @Danny: I’m wondering how you magically obtained access to his financial records going back to the 1970s (! – assuming they still exist that far back) and you know for sure that he has never donated “one penny” to any of those issues. You are apparently quite the Svengali.

  • DCguy

    “”and also for the health problems Richard Simmons caused Mr. Oliveira.” “”

    Now THAT is a loaded statement. Sounds like the guy is trying tin insinuate that Simmons gave him AIDS without saying it.

    It’s clever because if it isn’t true and Simmons sues him over it, the guy can just claim “Oh, I just meant he stressed me out and that’s bad for my health”

    Or if it’s true, he’s taking a shot across Simmons bow letting him know that he will leak that info if pressed.

    Sounds like messed up situation

  • Tobi

    Didn’t he used to be known as Sathya Sai Baba?

  • Large Marge

    He may be queeny and effeminate and flaming for some of you and you don’t like that. But being that, he has helped thousands if not millions over his lifetime become better fit. After watching on of his videos, I decided it was time to do something and I’ve lost 35 pounds by going to the gym and eating better and not drinking as much.

    I went from 232 to 197 in a few months…. a loss of 35 pounds in about 6 months. It’s not phenomenal, but it’s realistic.

    He got me started from his video, but I don’t watch his video to continue losing, but it does help people, particularly overweight women who hear nothing but negative things about them and he always had positive things to say…. Just keep moving!

    • Large Marge

      oh… and I’m a dude by the way. Used to be a true twink too… but at 45…. ugh.

    • Heywood Jablowme

      Hey, that’s considered “fat shaming” here! – lol. Here on Queerty, if you’re 30 to 40 pounds overweight you’re not supposed to DO anything about it except whine about how those mean guys on Grindr won’t accept you, boo hoo hoo.

      Seriously, congratulations.

  • radiooutmike

    What could he be blackmailed about seriously? Especially, on the past few years? I could see maybe in his heyday of the late 70s and 80s, but now?

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