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.
John Wayne Bobbitt
Neck Broken, Dong Intact
11/13/2014 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
John Wayne Bobbitt got cut off again ... and this time he suffered a broken neck.
JWB was driving to his brother's house in Buffalo Tuesday when another car ran a red light and T-boned his jeep. John suffered a broken vertebrae in his neck and a slipped disk.
We're told he should fully recover.
John notoriously beat his wife Lorena -- so she claimed -- and she got revenge in 1993 by cutting his penis off. Doctors reattached his schlong and John went on to do porn and screw scores of chicks.
We're assuming his penis is in fair condition.
Yeah, I Have a Place to Stay
But I Don't Like It
11/11/2014 2:52 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Amanda Bynes is not telling the truth when she says her parents aren't allowing her to have a roof over her head, because we've learned she's had a place all along ... she just doesn't like the location.
Sources connected with the Bynes family tell us ... Amanda's parents got her a room in a Glendale hotel immediately after she was released from the psychiatric facility.
Amanda does NOT want to stay in Glendale, but her parents were firm ... they will not get her a place anywhere near Hollywood or West Hollywood, because they think it spells nothing but trouble and where leeches glom onto her.
Our sources say Amanda's parents have told her if she wants a different area they'll find her a place, as long as it's not Hollywood or WeHo. But that's where Amanda wants to be and that's why she's been mooching off friends and crashing at their places.
We're told her parents' hotel package includes car services, food ... the works. Amanda's tirades that she doesn't have money for food or lodging are simply false.
Tour Turns Into Bloody Mess
In and Out of 6 Hospitals
11/11/2014 8:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Bret Michaels is in the hospital again, after a series of serious medical emergencies during his tour.
The Poison lead singer postponed a concert in Champaign, IL last week so he could undergo kidney surgery to correct a problem triggered by his diabetes.
He sucked it up and made his Friday date in Memphis and Saturday's show in Knoxville ... but things got ugly quick.
The stents started bleeding out while he was on his tour bus ... forcing him back to the ER where stents were removed.
This isn't the first time Bret's diabetes have acted up on tour ... he was rushed off stage for a similar problem back in May after performing just 3 songs.
We're told Bret's been admitted to 6 different hospitals over the last 2 weeks -- yet he didn't cancel a single show.
Now that's something to believe in.
Dementia Hallucinations Triggered Suicide
11/11/2014 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Robin Williams' suicide was triggered by a horrible disease called Lewy Body Dementia ... sources connected with his family tell TMZ.
TMZ has obtained documents showing Williams was struggling with the disease, which is marked by abnormal protein deposits in the brain that disrupt normal function.
Lewy Body Dementia is a condition commonly associated with Parkinson's ... and people afflicted by both often get severe side effects from Parkinson's meds. Hallucinations are common, where patients see phantom objects, people or animals. The patients often try to converse with the illusions.
Robin's wife had told authorities shortly after his death he had been complaining about the meds and the way they made him feel.
Sources connected with the Williams family tell TMZ ... Lewy Body Dementia was the "key factor" they believe drove him to kill himself. We're told Robin's doctors agree that the disease was the critical factor leading to his suicide.
Critical Drug Missing
During Fatal Procedure
11/11/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Joan Rivers would be alive today if the clinic where she stopped breathing had a proper crash cart ... sources connected with her family's legal team tell TMZ.
TMZ broke the story ... there were a number of screw ups, including doctor's notes that showed an alarming amount of Propofol in her body. We're told the notes were not accurate and there was nothing in the blood work to suggest Propofol killed Joan.
But the legal team believes the Yorkville Endoscopy Center did not have critical lifesaving equipment on the crash cart ... specifically a drug called Succinylcholine, used to relax a patient's trachea. The legal team believes Joan's vocal chords spasmed and closed shut. The drug would have instantly opened them.
To make matters worse ... the legal team says the doctors were asleep at the wheel, failing to identify "deteriorating vital signs."
Daughter Alexia Worse for Wear
After Dog Bite
11/10/2014 2:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Kyle Richards and her daughter Alexia Umansky were out and about Monday ... the first time the 18-year-old has been seen in public since she was viciously attacked by her aunt's pit bull.
Kyle and Alexia went inside the James Kendall Salon in Bev Hills and had little to say about the dog bite that required 2 surgeries.
Our photog mistakenly asked Alexia if she was mad at "your friend" ... obviously Kim Richards is her aunt, but close enough ... sorta.
They were also mum on whether the dog should be destroyed.
GOOD GENES OR
11/9/2014 12:05 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Eric Dane is a huge star!
Here's a 31-year-old version of the "Charmed" actor at a fancy Hollywood movie premiere back in 2003 (left) and 11 years later -- the "Grey's Anatomy" hunk -- who celebrates his 42nd birthday this weekend -- at a store opening last month (right).
The question is ...
Ex-NFL Player James Hardy
Committed to Mental Facility
... After Cop Attack Arrest
11/8/2014 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Ex-NFL player James Hardy III -- a 2nd round draft pick in 2008 -- has been committed to a state mental institution ... 6 months after he was arrested for attacking 3 cops ... TMZ Sports has learned.
We broke the story ... Hardy was taken into custody on May 4th at an L.A. apartment complex after an alleged violent meltdown. We're told it took several officers to subdue the 6'6", 225-pound athlete.
Now, we're told a judge has ruled that Hardy is not mentally competent to stand trial in the case -- and has ordered the 28-year-old to be committed to a state hospital.
According to court documents, the hospital has the authority to administer "involuntary antipsychotic medication" to Hardy as needed.
Hardy still faces a felony resisting arrest charge for the incident. According to court documents, he'll face trial for that charge when doctors say he's ready.
Come Work the Strip!!
Gets Bartending Offer
11/7/2014 4:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Amanda Bynes' cry for employment has been answered -- an L.A. bar is offering her a high profile bartending gig ... right in the heart of the Sunset Strip.
Chad Weiner, the managing partner of State Social House in West Hollywood, tells TMZ ... he's got an apron and a bottle opener with Amanda's name on it ... all she needs to do is say yes.
TMZ broke the story ... Amanda wants to live a "normal life," and make some money -- and she thinks bartending is the way to go.
Chad says his spot on the Strip is perfect for Amanda, since his staff knows her and would love to teach her the ropes. As for her schizophrenia ... Chad has a pay it forward attitude -- telling us he'd like to give Amanda a second chance, because he once got one when he was battling substance abuse.
Nice sentiment, but something still tells us a bar isn't the best fit for someone in Amanda's condition.
The NFL Messed Up My Head
... Medically Speaking
11/7/2014 2:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Brian Bosworth himself now says he's a headcase -- the ex-linebacker is going after the NFL for turning his brain to mush ... claiming the league knowingly lied about the dangers of concussions during his 3 seasons.
Brian -- infamously known as "The Boz" during his playing days -- says he suffered multiple concussions that were improperly diagnosed while he played for the Seattle Seahawks in the late 1980s. So he's now filed a lawsuit against the NFL and helmet-maker Riddell.
In the suit, Boz blasts the NFL for concealing the truth about head injuries and the after effects. He's also pissed at the NFL for "glorifying violent plays" with NFL Films projects such as ... "Moment of Impact" and the "Crunch Course" series.
According to the docs, experts have criticized Riddell for making crappy helmets that inadequately protect players. Boz even says they have a design defect.
He adds that he's currently suffering severe headaches and memory loss.
Bosworth's suit is almost a word-for-word copy of the class action lawsuit thousands of ex-NFL players brought against the league ... which was settled in July.
Bosworth was NOT part of that case.
I Want to Be a Bartender
11/7/2014 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Amanda Bynes has a plan ... she wants to sling drinks.
Sources connected to Amanda tell TMZ ... she wants "a normal life," and she believes working in a bar would achieve that goal.
Amanda says she's well aware of the obvious impediment -- she attracts so much attention it would be hard to function as a bartender.
As for why Amanda is even thinking of getting a job ... she desperately needs money. She doesn't have access to her $5.7 million fortune because of her conservatorship, and only gets between $50 and $100 a day. As for what she wants to do with the money, aside from getting an apartment, she wants plastic surgery because she thinks she's ugly.
We know 2 people from The Canyon Treatment Center -- where Amanda went for rehab -- have reached out to her and offered her a place to stay.
Walking, Talking, Smiling Again
... After Chicken Bone Accident
11/7/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Boxing legend Leon Spinks is finally walking, talking and smiling again ... after a medical scare stemming from a chicken bone accident ... TMZ Sports has learned.
As we previously reported, Spinks was hospitalized -- and was in pretty bad shape -- after swallowing a chicken bone ... which got lodged in his intestine.
We spoke with Leon's attorney Steve Pacitti who tells us the former champ is still in the hospital -- but he's making tremendous progress.
"He's healing. He's on the road to recovery," Pacitti tells TMZ Sports ... "I went to see him the other night and when I walked in he flashed a huge smile. He's in great spirits."
Pacitti says he's unsure when "Neon Leon" will be discharged from the hospital -- but says things are looking good. "He's up and walking ... he's talking."