(Washington Post illustration; Jason Kempin/Getty; i Stock)Richard Simmons is gone. On its stoop is a sun-bleached edition of the Beverly Hills Courier from January.Inside is the wreckage of a livelihood: piles of debris, tongues of pink insulation, a dusting of pulverized drywall on the ballet barres.
Fitness expert Simmons — whose private lifestyle has made him the subject of headlines lately — has slapped National Enquirer with a libel lawsuit, over “cruel and malicious” reports that suggested Simmons had undergone a sex change.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, takes aim at reports from the Enquirer and its sister publication Radar Online, which is also named as a defendant in the suit.
Simmons for several years,” and has contacted publications such as the Enquirer and Radar with “untrue” stories about Simmons, including that Simmons was undergoing a sex change. Simmons’ complaint, we stand by our reporting about him, all of which was based on solid sourcing, photos and videos.
Should he choose to proceed with his lawsuit, we will defend it vigorously, and we look forward to the public vindication of our reports.” Alleging libel and invasion of privacy, Simmons’ suit is seeking unspecified damages, along with an apology and retraction.
Richard's rep tells TMZ, the exercise guru is "happily living life outside the public eye." Richard's people have never said why he abruptly disappeared ... but that he just isn't there "today." The rep says Richard is still committed to helping the "obese and overlooked" and is working "behind the scenes" on charity projects.