Pop Culture

Assault case against Richard Simmons dropped

A judge dismissed an assault charge against flamboyant fitness guru Richard Simmons after he and the man he was accused of slapping in the face reached a private settlement, lawyers said Wednesday.

Terms of the agreement last week between the celebrity trainer and motorcycle sales rep Chris Farney, 23, were not disclosed.

Simmons, 55, famed for his frizzy hair, glittery tank tops and exuberant demeanor, was cited for misdemeanor assault in March at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Police said the charge stemmed from an altercation that began when Farney, a fellow traveler at the airport, recognized Simmons as he was signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Farney, a burly Harley-Davidson motorcycle salesman who stands more than 6 feet tall and competes in the martial-arts sport of cage fighting, angered Simmons with a remark poking fun at Simmons’ exercise videos.

According to a police report on the incident, Simmons responded by telling Farney: “It’s not nice to make fun of people with issues,” then slapped him across the face.

A Phoenix municipal court judge dismissed the assault case during a pretrial conference last Friday between Simmons’ lawyer, prosecutors, Farney and his attorney, based on a signed statement from Farney that “full satisfaction has been received for the injury inflicted.” That document was filed on Wednesday.

Simmons’ lawyer, James Nesci, said Simmons was “certainly pleased with the outcome. All he really was looking for was a just conclusion. He believes he got it.”

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