Richard Simmons addresses fans in new statement to People

"Richard Simmons was hospitalized on Monday at an undisclosed location in California", Simmons' rep, Michael Catalano, tells ET.

According to TMZ, Simmons was battling "discomfort while eating" and "gastrointestinal issues" for days before seeking treatment at a hospital.

"The Sweatin" to the Oldies star then seems to make a reference to the wildly popular podcast, Missing Richard Simmons, whose host, Dan Taberski, set out to find out why Simmons retreated from the spotlight. In an exclusive phone interview with ET in March 2016, Simmons addressed the fascination over his new private life and said, "no one should be anxious about me".

Estey told People magazine last month that such claims were "a complete load of crap", saying, "Richard made a choice".

Questions have been circling Simmons' health in recent years, including on a viral podcast called "Missing Richard Simmons".

Simmons himself said as much to Entertainment Tonight a year ago.

In 2014, Simmons largely vanished from public life. Aren't you sick of hearing and reading about me?!

Simmons' publicist did not respond immediately to a request for comment. "No one is holding me in my house as a hostage".

"It was always about everybody else first, and I think this is a little bit reflection time", Catalano says. "I don't know what he is going to do, but right now he is doing what he wants to do and it is his business". "I don't want to be traveling's taken a toll on me".

  • Leroy Wright