Richard Simmons made headlines this week after he was hospitalized on Friday for bizarre behavior (which he later chalked up to "dehydration"), but according to new tabloid reports, there may be way more to the story than meets the eye.
According to a new report by the National Enquirer, Simmons (who has been out of the spotlight for more than three years) underwent a series of sex change operations and is now living as a woman named Fiona.
The fitness icon, 67, has undergone breast implant surgery and hormone therapy over the course of two years. A friend told the publication, "[This is] not just in drag. This is Richard dressed as a softly spoken woman named Fiona!"
Simmons' transformation may be one reason why nobody has been able to seen him in so long. According to the story, Fiona prefers to keep a low profile and has rejected rumors that she was kidnapped by her longterm caretaker Teresa Reveles. "I am not kidnapped. I am just in my house right now,’" he insisted years ago, when concerns of Simmons' well-being first surfaced. "No one should be worried about me. The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me."
Of Reveles, he added, "She's been with me for 30 years. It's almost like we're a married couple."
If this report is true (considering the source, we're taking it with a grain of salt), we hope that Simmons — or Fiona — has plenty of help and support for the transition.
Watch our throwback interview with Laverne Cox talking about supporting Caitlyn Jenner (when she was still Bruce), above.
(Photos from top: All Access Photo; National Enquirer, June 20, 2016)