Richard Simmons has no hard feelings about Kym Herjavec taking over the studio space that was home to Slimmons for 42 years.
In an exclusive statement to ET, the 68-year-old fitness guru responded to the former Dancing With the Stars pro opening The Bod workout studio in March, after Slimmons closed in November. "I have not been to the studio since it closed, but I wish Kym all the best of everything in that space," he said. "Some of my greatest memories are from Slimmons and the thousands of wonderful people that came through those doors to sweat with me."
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Simmons also revealed that he kept some items from his studio for safe keeping. "The Slimmons sign has been preserved as has my gorgeous disco ball," he noted.
After closing Slimmons last year, Simmons released a statement to ET praising the studio's patrons, while reflecting on all the good times he had while instructing aerobics classes there. "In 1974, I opened Slimmons as a way to help people make positive changes in their lives by having fun while exercising," he said. "It was a place to make friends, listen to and learn from others, lose weight and gain confidence. These were all the reasons I went to Slimmons too!"
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"Over the years thousands came to laugh and sweat with me," he continued. "The world and what we know about nutrition and fitness may have changed a lot since then, but the lessons shared in that little studio still apply. I've dedicated my life to helping others feel better about themselves and they helped me to do the same. Thank you for always supporting and loving me. I will take the time for myself to be the best I can be and so should you. I love you -- always keep sweatin'!"
Simmons was not there when Slimmons closed its doors, as he has not shown his face in public in over three years.
After Simmons was hospitalized for three days in April for severe indigestion, he released a statement on Facebook, acknowledging his retreat from the public eye. “Hello to everyone who has shown concern for me and sent their good wishes. You will never know how much it means to me," he said in part. “Well, by now you know that I’m not ‘missing,’ just a little under the weather."
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Simmons concluded, "Hope to see you again soon!"
This isn't the first time Simmons has sought to comfort fans while remaining unseen. In March 2016, ET exclusively spoke with Simmons over the phone, and he insisted that "no one should be worried about me."
"It was time for me to take some time to be by myself," he said. "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."