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Where is Richard Simmons? Team denies captivity claims despite new podcast

The podcast "Missing Richard Simmons" asks where the fitness-guru has been for the past few years, and suggests that he might be being held hostage.
/ Source: TODAY

Richard Simmons is not one to shy away from the spotlight.

But ask yourself – when was the last time you saw him?

It’s been a while, right? Actually, it’s been several years. And the podcast “Missing Richard Simmons” is setting out to find him.

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In the first episode, the podcast’s creator, Dan Taberski, who attended Richard’s workout classes in Beverly Hills and knew him personally, takes a look at Simmons’ dependable past and finds it unfathomable that he just stopped showing up to class.

RELATED: Richard Simmons: No one is holding me against my will

Simmons had long time connections, people who came to class every day, and he had scarcely missed a class in decades.

"And he didn't just stop showing up,” Taberski explains in the first episode. “He stopped communicating all together."

Perhaps because of his dependability, the accusations regarding his whereabouts have been shocking.

Some believe that Simmons’ long-time housekeeper is holding him hostage in his own home. However, his representative has denied these claims.

The "Missing Richard Simmons" podcast artwork captures Simmons' persona, and the mystery surrounding his whereabouts. Missing Richard Simmons

Simmons himself spoke to TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie on the phone last March.

“All the people that are worrying about me, I want to tell them that I love them with my whole heart and soul, and that not to worry,” said Simmons. “Richard is fine.”

In the podcast’s most recent episode, former employee Mauro Oliveira alleges Simmons’ housekeeper Teresa Reveles is controlling his life. NBC was not able to reach Simmons' housekeeper for comment. But these accusations were addressed during Guthrie's phone interview with Simmons last March.

RELATED: Natalie: Richard Simmons seems ‘to be making his own decisions’

“No one is holding me in my house as a hostage,” Simmons told Guthrie. “You know, I do what I want to do, as I've always done.”

Richard Simmons at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2013.Jason Kempin / Getty Images North America

And Simmons’ publicist has also addressed the hostage matter, stepping in to let people know that he’s aware of the claims and finds them ridiculous.

"His housekeeper is lovely and loving and not a witch," Simmons' publicist told NBC. "He's simply living outside the public eye - willingly and happily. It's sad what folks will do for attention..."

That said, Simmons’ continued reluctance to appear in public has only fueled the theories about why he dropped out of the spotlight, seemingly without warning.

The LAPD visited Simmons’ home in 2015 in response to a call made by his housekeeper alleging “elder abuse,” however the police told NBC News that they couldn’t provide details unless an arrest had been made.

Dan Taberski and Mauro Oliveira were both unavailable for comment.