Fitness guru Richard Simmons has filed a lawsuit against the National Enquirer and Radar Online for stories claiming that he was transitioning into a woman.
Variety is reporting that in the lawsuit Simmons is claiming that the tabloids received their information from a woman, Mauro Oliveira, who has been blackmailing him for years. Oliveira is a former assistant of Simmons.
The lawsuit is also claiming that Oliveira went to the Enquirer several times to try and explain Simmons withdraw from the public eye, and in June 2016 they ran with one of her stories claiming that he was transitioning to a woman. The Enquirer claimed that Simmons, “is now called Fiona!”. Simmons denied the story at the time.
The story was also posted on Radar Online and on the “Missing Richard Simmons” podcast.
Simmons also wants to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with gender transitioning, he is just not going through it. “Mr. Simmons fully supports individual autonomy and the essential human dignity of every person to make his or her own personal choices regarding sexual identity,” the lawsuit states.
In June 2016 Simmons and his attorneys demanded that the Enquirer print a retraction, and claimed at the time that there story have mad eit more difficult for Simmons to return to the public spotlight.
Here is the Enquirer’s response to the lawsuit, “For Mr. Simmons to claim that his privacy has been invaded is hypocritical when his entire livelihood is based upon the public consumption of his image. We stand by our reporting about Mr. Simmons, and intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit and win public vindication of our reports.”