In just three weeks, the podcast Missing Richard Simmons shot to the top of the iTunes charts, but Richard Simmons‘ rep says they have no involvement with the series — and don’t have any need to participate.
“We did not cooperate, we did not collaborate, we did not approve, we have nothing to do with this podcast,” Simmons’ rep, Tom Estey, tells PEOPLE.
The third episode of Missing Richard Simmons featured an interview with Mauro Oliveira, Simmons’ former massuse, assistant and close friend, who claims that Simmons’ longtime housekeeper Teresa Reveles is holding him hostage. Oliveira says Reveles is the reason why Simmons went from being a constant presence at his fitness studio and in his friends’ lives to going unseen since Feb. 2014, almost 1,100 days.
But Estey says that Oliveira’s statements are “total crap.”
“That is absolute, absolute madness. Absolutely not true. And you know what? It’s unfortunate that people have to lie to get ratings for a podcast.”
Estey says he doesn’t know the podcast creator, Dan Taberski, who is one of Simmons’ formerly close friends, but explains that Taberski reached out to him repeatedly for an interview.
“I don’t know who the hell he is. But I don’t care. What I do care about is the truth,” Estey says. “I can’t believe this podcast is getting this much attention. But I just don’t get it. If there was any truth to it, I would tell you, there is no truth to it.”
“We did not cooperate nor collaborate. So there is no Richard Simmons attached to this podcast. If there was a reason for us to comment or to cooperate, then we would certainly have done it, but we just didn’t feel the need.”
And Estey says that there’s no conspiracy at hand — Simmons just wanted a break from the public eye.
“He made a choice to take a break from public life, which he has the right to do,” Estey says. “People need to respect that and not surmise that there’s something wrong, when there’s nothing wrong.”
“For 40 years, he took care of everyone else but himself. And so it’s not that he’s being selfish, he’s just being a person, a regular person, taking care of himself.”