Richard Simmons Says He's Ok After Reports of Depression, But Friends Aren't Buying It

Pam WrightLife

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Richard Simmons says that all is well following reports from close friends that the health exercise guru is suffering from depression so bad that he is practically a recluse.

But, not so fast.

According to TMZ, close friends are now becoming angry that Simmons' rep is "shoveling crap with the story that Richard's OK." Those same friends maintain that Simmons is anything but OK.

On Thursday, the Daily News reported that his rep said Richard is "sad" but denies being clinically depressed, a shut-in or a recluse.

However, TMZ reported that Simmons has cut off all contact with friends, even those extremely close to him and has become “paralyzed with fear and depression,” as he contemplates surgery for a serious knee injury.

Apparently, the last public appearance by Simmons was on Jan. 11 at a charity event.

According to reports, his depression has been exacerbated by the death of his beloved dog, as well as the death of Joan Rivers. However, his close friends reportedly said they don't believe knee surgery or the death of his dog would lead Simmons to cut himself off from the outside world.

"If Richard is really OK and is aware people are extremely concerned about him, he'd pick up the phone and tell them to relax. But he hasn't, and we're worried sick," said the source to TMZ.

Pam Wright