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Richard Simmons Denies Being Transgender
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Richard Simmons. Photo courtesy of Us Weekly.

Summary: In a recent defamation lawsuit, Richard Simmons claims he is not transgender.

Richard Simmons wants the world to know he is not a woman. The Beverly Hills-based fitness guru filed court papers recently defending his identity as part of a defamation lawsuit against tabloids that claimed he was transitioning.


“I am male. I am not transgender. I have never sought nor obtained any medical treatment or procedure designed to transition from male to female,” Simmons stated in his legal paperwork.

The National Enquirer had run a piece that said Simmons had disappeared from the public eye because he was transitioning from male to female. According to TMZ, Simmons listed five reasons why the tabloid was wrong with its story. He said for one that he was not transgender and also that he had never had breast implant surgery or ever consulted with a doctor about sex reassignment surgery.

Simmons, 69, is suing The National Enquirer as well as celebrity website Radar Online, which famously broke the Usher herpes settlement.

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“The National Enquirer and Radar Online have cheaply and crassly commercialized and sensationalized an issue that ought to be treated with respect and privacy,” Simmons’ complaint said.

Simmons is a well-known fitness guru who has a studio in Beverly Hills and also had a successful line exercise videos named “Sweating with the Oldies.” He has made appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman as well as The Howard Stern Show. 

In 2014, Simmons exited the limelight, and the two publications said it was because he was transitioning. Simmons said that was not the reason for his escape, but he noted that he supported transgender people.

“I fully support transgender individuals and their struggle to achieve acceptance and equality,” Simmons said. “Nonetheless, the false and fabricated claims that I was contemplating ‘castration’ and have had a ‘boob job’ have caused me extreme embarrassment.”

Three months ago, Simmons sued the media companies for defamation, and The National Enquirer’s parent company American Media told Fox News that it was standing by its reporting.

“It’s the height of sophistry to claim to be a supporter of LGBTQ rights, yet also claim to be defamed by being identified as transgender. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s noted Mr. Simmons refusal to identify with or openly support gay and lesbian rights over the course of his entire career,” an America Media spokesperson told ABC News. “AMI stands by its reporting, which was not only supported by a lengthy on-the-record taped interview with Mr. Oliveira, it was also supported by photographs and videotape (which AMI possesses but did not publish), and was consistent with prior reporting about Mr. Simmons’ lifestyle. We look forward to litigating Mr. Simmons’ claims in a public court of law.”

In Simmons’ initial filing of the defamation lawsuit, he said that The National Enquirer and Radar Online invaded his privacy when they wrote that he was going by the name “Fiona” and had undergone surgical procedures to become a woman.

“This case is about a particularly egregious and hurtful campaign of defamation and privacy invasions, falsely asserting that Mr. Simmons is transitioning from a male to a female, including ‘shocking sex surgery,’ breast implants, hormone treatments, and consultations on medical castration,” the lawsuit stated. “Even the most ardent supporter of sexual autonomy and LGBTQ rights is entitled to be portrayed in a manner that is truthful. It is to vindicate that right, and the rights of all persons to be portrayed with dignity and honesty with regard to their sexual identity, that Mr. Simmons files this lawsuit.”

What do you think of Richard Simmons’ defamation lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below.


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