In June 2016, The National Enquirer sharted out a story claiming that the real reason for why Richard Simmons has retired from the spotlight is because he’s taking hormones and getting surgeries as a part of his transition into a woman. Richard’s rep denied The National Enquirer’s story at the time, but the Enquirer kept on and burped up more stories about Richard’s so-called transition. Since The National Enquirer refuses to shut their mouth, Richard has shoved a libel complaint between their lips. The Hollywood Reporter says that Richard is suing The National Enquirer, Radar Online and their parent company American Media, Inc. for spreading lies about him. I’m kind of jealous of everyone who works at The National Enquirer, because when Richard Simmons takes over the company after victoriously winning his lawsuit, he’ll change it to The Simmons Enquirer and they’ll get him as a boss.
Richard’s lawyer, Neville Johnson, says in the complaint that he is a victim of defamation and invasion of privacy. The complaint also has these legal words in it:
The National Enquirer and Radar Online have cheaply and crassly commercialized and sensationalized an issue that ought to be treated with respect and sensitivity. Principles of freedom of speech and press may protect their prerogative to mock and degrade the LGBTQ community. But freedom to speak is not freedom to defame. Mr. Simmons, like every person in this nation, has a legal right to insist that he not be portrayed as someone he is not. Even the most ardent supporter of sexual autonomy and LGBTQ rights is entitled to be portrayed in a manner that is truthful.
The Hollywood Reporter says that it may be a difficult case to win for Richard, because in the past, courts have had a hard time figuring out if being called gay or transgender is “defamatory.” You know, since it’s like saying that being gay or transgender is embarrassing and something to be ashamed of.
Richard also named his ex friend and associate, Mauro Oliveira, in his lawsuit. Mauro is the one who claimed that Richard’s housekeeper, Teresa Reveles, is a bruja who put a black magic spell on him. Richard claims in his lawsuit that Mauro is the dark-sided one who has blackmailed, stalked and extorted him for years. Richard is accusing Mauro of selling fake stories about him to tabloids like The National Enquirer for money. Mauro was allegedly telling Richard that he was going to sell more stories if he didn’t get paid off.
Mauro tells People that Richard’s claims are lies and the real truth will come out!!!!
Richard Simmons just wants to be left alone and here comes more public messiness he has to deal with. But the good news is that his eventual biopic got another layer of drama added to it (and yes, a white flamingo in a fro wig spun from real gold will play Richard). The better news is that if this lawsuit goes to trial, Richard may stomp into the court room in his best suin’ outfit: a smart blazer, a tank top, his signature Dolphin shorts and ultra shimmery Capezio tights. I’m already preparing to pucker.