Richard Simmons thanks fans after documentary about his absence from public view

Fitness guru Richard Simmons re-emerged on social media to thank fans who expressed concern about his lack of a presence on the platforms.

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Simmons, 74, left the spotlight more than eight years ago, Fox News reported. He was the subject of a TMZ documentary that aired Monday on Fox, “TMZ Investigates: What Really Happened to Richard Simmons.”

The documentary focused on Simmons disappearing from the public eye, People reported. It also revealed that knee problems had kept Simmons out of the limelight.

On Wednesday, Simmons went on Facebook and posted a photo of a smiling emoji holding a thank you sign.

“Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and love! Love, Richard,” Simmons wrote.

Simmons’ manager, Michael Catalano, confirmed the post’s authenticity to People.

“This was a personal post from Richard,” Catalano told the magazine. “He was moved by the reaction to the special and all the good wishes that he received. He was encouraged by the kindness.”

The special explored Simmons’ rise to stardom and featured interviews with Denise Austin and Suzanne Somers, Fox reported. Longtime friend Bruce Vilanch and Simmons’ longtime costume designer, Leslie Wilshire, also were interviewed for the special.

Simmons’ absence has been the subject of rumors through the years, fueled by the podcast “Missing Richard Simmons,” People reported. It gave rise to several claims, including Simmons being held hostage by his housekeeper and possibly transitioning into a woman.

According to Entertainment Tonight, Simmons called the “Today” show in March 2016 to refute the hostage claims.

“No one is holding me in my house as a hostage,’’ Simmons told Savannah Guthrie on the air, according to “Today.” “You know, I do what I want to do as I’ve always done so people should sort of just believe what I have to say because like I’m Richard Simmons!”

In 2017, Simmons sued two tabloid publications that alleged he was transitioning, Fox News reported. Simmons’ attorneys have said he supports transgender rights but believed the allegations defamed him.

A spokesperson for Simmons told Fox News Digital on Tuesday that they had no comment about the allegations made in the documentary.