The mystery surrounding Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons says he is just fine. And.we should believe him because he's Richard Simmons. That's what he said on the Today Show.

The controversy over his health has centered on his escape from the public scene. His agent Thomas Estee says Simmons is just fine. Estey says, Simmons had surgery on a bum knee, but it didn't help. He says the other knee has had problems too. Thomas Estee is Simmons agent. He says Simmons "woke up one day and said I just want to spend time with myself. I want to take a break from the public eye (and) I can tell you with absolute certainty that he is absolutely fine."

But a lot of people aren't buying it. Just after he appeared in the 2013 Mary's Thanksgiving Day Parade Simmons checked out of the public arena. He was hardly seen outside his Hollywood Hills gated-mansion. Rumors have run rampant that the 67-year-old fitness guru wasn't so fit anymore. There were stories he was frail, had cancer, was being held against his will, even under the control of his housekeeper of 30-years. Not so, said Simmons by phone on the Today Show. He said he is fine and nobody is controlling him.

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