Richard Simmons had visitors Friday night ... cops who were doing a welfare check because he's been MIA for more than year ... and guess what? He's fine.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... 2 LAPD officers showed up to Simmons' Hollywood Hills home at 7 PM. Richard answered the door and showed them in. The cops' feedback -- he couldn't have been nicer and more gracious. They say he was articulate, lucid, relaxed and appreciative of their concern.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the visit was triggered by a long-time friend of Simmons who sent an email to the L.A. County D.A.'s Elder Abuse Unit last month and said he believed the 66-year-old fitness guru was being abused.
TMZ broke the story, Simmons went radio silent a year ago. He hasn't spoken to his friends, gone to his fitness studio or been seen in public. His friends say there is no way Richard would shut himself off this way. His manager says Simmons is simply depressed over a knee injury.
But we've learned the 2 cops who spent an hour with Richard say he seemed genuinely happy. Simmons, who now has a beard, told them he was "exhausted" after spending 30 years in the public eye. He said, "I just want to spend time with myself," although he says he's in regular touch with the people in his life who matter to him. He was alone in the house Friday when cops were there.
Simmons was walking with a slight limp, which is consistent with the knee injury. As for why he hasn't been to his fitness studio for the better part of last year, he said, "I've got people who run things. I don't need to be there." Until he disappeared he was a fixture at the studio.
Bravo Star Greg Plitt
Company Warns ...
Drink Won't Make You Superman
1/23/2015 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Bravo star Greg Plitt's favorite energy drink will not give you superpowers ... so says the company that makes WheyUP -- the product Plitt was plugging when he was hit by a train.
The pre-workout drink contains protein and caffeine, but Shadow Beverages and Snacks wants to stress what should be obvious -- it would never give anyone the ability to outrun a train.
Even though a bunch of empty WheyUp bottles were found near the tracks ... a company rep tells us Plitt wasn't drinking all of them -- he was crushing most of them with a hammer for the promo shoot.
Plitt was a co-owner of WheyUp, and the rep says he had full creative control when it came to his video shoots.
Died in Superman Stunt
Trying to Outrun Train
1/20/2015 1:18 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Bravo star and fitness instructor Greg Plitt did NOT die from stumbling on a railroad track Saturday ... he was fatally struck by a train after trying to outrun it ... to prove the effectiveness of an energy drink.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... they have reviewed video of the accident and it shows Plitt standing on the tracks as the train barrels toward him. Shortly before the train reaches Plitt he assumes a runners stance and bolts down the track.
The video shows the train closes in on Plitt as he races at breakneck speed, but he loses the battle and the train "clips" him ... throwing him off the track to his death. It happens quickly and after getting struck he disappears from the video.
And law enforcement tells us they found multiple energy drink bottles near the track and authorities think Plitt may have been hopped up from the caffeine. We're told he was shooting a commercial for the product.
One of the investigators interviewed someone involved in Plitt's video shoot who said Plitt was trying to make the point that the energy drink makes you like Superman ... able to outrun a speeding train.
'Work Out' Star Greg Plitt
Chasing Adrenaline High During Train Death
1/19/2015 3:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Bravo's "Work Out" fitness star Greg Plitt was attempting to pull off a dangerous thrill seeking stunt -- just to sell sports drinks -- when he was hit and killed by a commuter train.
Law enforcement sources tell us Plitt was shooting a commercial for a new sports drink -- near the Burbank, CA Metrolink station -- when he attempted to outrun an oncoming train.
Sources close to Plitt say he had worked out near the tracks many times before -- but this shoot turned tragic when he tripped and fell on the tracks ... and couldn't recover in time to get out of the way.
As for why he was on the same track as the speeding train, our sources say Plitt was a highly driven adrenaline junkie. A promotional video for his website is especially eerie now ... since the whole thing was shot in the shadow of a rail yard.
The coroner says Greg's official cause of death is multiple blunt force trauma.
Goes Nuts Over 16-Pound Balls
... Sues for $2 Mil
1/11/2015 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Question: What has 16 pound balls and just pissed off former NFL star Shawne Merriman??
Answer: Some bowling company in Utah that's hawking balls with his catchphrase.
The ex-linebacker has just declared legal war on a bowling company called "Storm" -- which hawks various bowling products on its website ... including a ball emblazoned with the words, "Lights Out."
Of course, Merriman claims he owns the trademark to "Lights Out" -- the nickname he's had since high school -- and demanded the company stop selling the balls ASAP.
But in a lawsuit filed in California, Shawne claims the company refused to comply with his demands -- so now, he's asking a judge to force them to pull the balls from their cyber-shop.
He's demanding more than $2 MILLION in damages. Calls to Storm have not been returned.
Stable, Lucid and Off Meds
12/25/2014 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Amanda Bynes is OUT of her manic state ... acting completely "normal" and her family thinks it's nothing short of "mind blowing."
Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... Amanda is off all meds, including Adderall, which caused her to get a DUI.
When you speak with Amanda there is no way you would know she's been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolarity. She is completely lucid.
We're told things have stabilized so much, her parents have given her limited access again to bank accounts. She spends her time reading, doing yoga, meditation and pilates ... all stress reducers which doctors say are important for these mental disorders.
We're also told Amanda's recent trip to USC -- where she'd like to enroll as a psych major -- was all planned by her.
Here's the rub. Doctors have told Amanda's family, people with such mental illnesses sometimes rebound and they can be ok for months, only to relapse again.
The family believes during these stable periods, the best thing is to give Amanda enough freedom to enjoy it.
Where is He?
12/21/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Richard Simmons is still MIA ... nearly a year after he was last seen, and there are no signs of XMAS or even life at his home.
His friends are more worried than ever. They haven't heard from or seen him since January 11. He hasn't been to his exercise studio in 6 months.
There are no XMAS decorations at his Hollywood Hills house. Friends are not allowed to visit. A housekeeper seems to stand guard whenever anyone tries to enter.
Simmons' rep told us the exercise guru was depressed over a knee injury and that's why he has gone radio silent, but his friends are convinced it is far more serious. They say Richard was the ultimate caring person who loved interaction, and now there is none whatsoever.
Celebrity Trainer Astrid McGuire
Sheddin' 180 lbs ...
Worth of Husband
12/15/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Astrid McGuire can handle celebrity asses, but she's done with her husband's -- the famed trainer is calling it quits on her marriage.
McGuire filed papers in L.A. last month after ten very healthy -- on her end at least -- years of marriage to husband, Michael Heier McGuire.
Whipping stars like Christina Applegate and Julianne Hough into shape at Barry's Bootcamp has put her in high demand -- and she's modeled since she was 15.
According to the divorce docs ... divvying up of their property will be handled by a written agreement -- so, should be a clean split.
Astrid's clearly taking her best assets with her.
I'm Giving Up Cocaine and Molly
... But Not Weed
12/13/2014 12:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Riff Raff has been touting his cocaine and molly addictions for 4 years ... but now, the rapper tells us he's giving up both FOR GOOD -- even though he'll continue puffing sticky icky.
The "Kokayne" rapper says he decided to get sober a few months ago ... after he got so wasted the night before a celebrity basketball game for charity he couldn't play.
Riff Raff says that's when he realized he had a bad cocaine problem and had to turn his life around.
The 32-year-old says he isn't going into treatment ... he says fitness is the solution: "Whenever I have the urge to do coke or molly, I just pick up weights instead."
He's been sober a few months -- except for weed smoking -- and Raff says he feels great.
Plus, he's gained 40 pounds ... and is looking swole again.
Beloved Dog's Death
Triggered Emotional Crisis
11/14/2014 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The death of Richard Simmons' dog played an important part in the depression that has turned him into a shut-in ... a dog he considered his child.
TMZ broke the story ... Richard hasn't been seen in public for almost 11 months ... and the trigger was a looming knee replacement which shut Richard down professionally and socially.
Sources close to Richard tell us his Dalmatian Hattie died within days of his last public sighting back in January. Richard took the dog with him when he was out and about in L.A. and would often brag about her in his exercise classes.
Richard -- who never had kids of his own -- treated Hattie like a child. Richard had several Dalmatians and Hattie was the last survivor.
Richard had a deep bond with the dog, who was 17 when she died ... and it destroyed him.
The knee was the trigger, but the dog was the emotional tug that contributed to Richard's life paralysis.
DISAPPEARED From Sight
Injury and Depression
11/13/2014 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
2:40 P.M. PST -- Richard just posted a message on his Facebook page:
Something is seriously wrong with Richard Simmons ... he disappeared for almost the entire year ... and we're told there's a physical problem that has led to debilitating depression.
Simmons was last photographed in public January 11th at a charity event. TMZ got video of Richard later that evening, but that's the last time anyone has seen him in public.
Various people who are extremely close to Richard tell TMZ ... he has gone radio silent with them, he does not accept or return phone calls, and he has his housekeeper turn people away when they come to visit him.
Richard has not shown up at his famed studio, Slimmons in Beverly Hills, for months. Simmons was a fixture there, regularly teaching classes. The staff offers no explanation for his prolonged absence.
A source extremely close to Richard -- one of the few people with whom he is in contact -- tells TMZ the fitness guru is in a massive state of depression over a bum knee. He says doctors told Richard he needs a left knee replacement and if he doesn't get one he will never be able to exercise again.
The source says Richard is terrified of the surgery and has put it off all year. He had a right knee replacement 4 years ago and he put off that surgery for nearly a decade ... he was that frightened.
We're told Richard has tried stem cell and red blood platelet therapy -- like Kobe Bryant -- but it failed.
We're told he's paralyzed with fear and depression, which has made him a shut in for 2014.
Other friends and business associates tell TMZ they don't believe this is just a knee problem ... they think it's more serious.
We left a message for Richard, but he did not return our calls.
Still Workin' On My Fitness
... Without Khloe
11/6/2014 11:46 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
His NBA career is likely over ... but Lamar Odom is still working out hard -- possibly preparing his body to reenter the dating pool.
With his estranged wife Khloe Kardashian having moved on to French Montana ... Odom has been spotted working out at an L.A. gym and running along the beach in the last few weeks.
As we previously reported, Lamar has been putting off finalizing the divorce ... but maybe the fact he's tuning up his body is a sign that he's finally ready to rebound.
Fun Fact -- today's Lamar's birthday. Happy 35th!
NFL Star James Harrison
Bangs Out Push Ups
With 300 lb. Man On His Back!!
11/4/2014 9:22 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Age means NOTHING to James Harrison -- especially when it comes to brute strength -- 'cause the Steelers linebacker just knocked out a set of push-ups with a 304 lb. lineman on his back!!
The 36-year-old superstar -- one of the oldest guys in the NFL -- let teammate Maurkice Pouncey sit on his back while he got some chest work in during a gym session early Tuesday morning.
Do the math ... 275 (Harrison's weight) + 304 (Pouncey's weight) = STRONG.
Of course, Harrison came out of retirement to rejoin the Steelers this season and absolutely KILLED IT this weekend ... single-handedly terrorizing Ravens QB Joe Flacco all game long.
Then again, James never really stopped working out ... the guy was pushing serious weight in the Steelers gym even before he officially resigned with the team.