EXCLUSIVE: Richard Simmons' Manager Speaks Out About New Product Line
By Jennifer Drysdale
Richard Simmons' return to the spotlight might be closer than we think.
Prominent Brand + Talent, a management company co-founded by Simmon's longtime manager, Michael Catalano, announced on Wednesday that it had acquired exclusive rights to represent Simmons for merchandising, endorsements and licensing opportunities, License Globalfirst reported.
According to The New York Times, Simmons might be willing to return to public life to promote the products involved with the deal.
“All I can say, at least for now, is it is possible,” Catalano said of whether Simmons would get involved publicly. “But it is yet to be determined, I would say.”
Simmons' possible future appearances would be the first time the fitness guru has been since in public since February 2014, when he stopped teaching classes at his Slimmons studio in Beverly Hills, California.
In a statement to ET, Catalano said that the yet-to-be-released products would be "consistent" with Simmons' "message and mission." A press release for the deal revealed that products are currently being designed to build upon Simmons' wide array of merchandise, currently sold at QVC, Walmart and others.
"With the enormous outpouring of love and well wishes for Richard, we felt creating a thoughtful, inspiration-based line of products would be welcome," the statement continued. "Richard has always created products that helped people take better care of themselves and any new products will certainly be in keeping with Richard’s consistent message and mission.”
Though Simmons' disappearance from public life has left some to speculate about his whereabouts -- and has even inspired a podcast, Missing Richard Simmons -- in a phone interview with ET in March, the Sweatin' to the Oldies creator said that "no one should be worried about me."
"I love all the people who worry about me," Simmons said. "But it was time for me to take some time to be by myself. For the last 40 years I have been traveling, teaching classes, and I had a knee injury, so I had a knee replacement, which was very difficult for me… I have really just been taking it easy, staying at home, working out in my gym and doing the things I haven't done in a very long time."