LOS ANGELES --A representative for Richard Simmons says reports that the beloved fitness instructor is depressed, has become a recluse and is being held against his will at his Hollywood Hills home are untrue.
"I am not kidnapped," Simmons, 67, said in a phone interview with "Entertainment Tonight" on Sunday.
Simmons, who last appeared in public at the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, spoke out after a New York Daily News report published over the weekend raised concerns that he was being held against his will.
Several of Simmons' "closest friends" allegedly told the publication that they hadn't heard from the exercise mogul since 2013 and were very concerned.
Mauro Oliveira, Simmons' former assistant, told ABC News that Simmons' longtime live-in housekeeper is controlling his life and purposely keeping him from his loved ones.
The report prompted countless people on social media to question Simmons' whereabouts.
Simmons' rep, Tom Estey, called claims that Simmons is being held against his will "absolutely untrue."
"It's ridiculous because this is really a non-story," Estey told ABC News.
In a statement to PEOPLE Magazine, Estey said that Simmons is not in any danger and that he's simply "taking a break from the public eye" and is working on "several projects" that will be announced soon.
ABC News contributed to this report
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