Richard Simmons has denied recent rumours he is undergoing a sex change, insisting people should shift their focus from the "lies" to those affected by the shooting tragedy in Orlando.
The colourful fitness expert hit headlines last Wednesday (08Jun16) when National Enquirer bosses published an article all about Simmons' alleged transition, just days after the 67-year-old was hospitalised in Los Angeles.
Simmons' manager shut down the unfounded allegations he is transitioning into a "softly spoken woman named Fiona", and now the star is speaking out for himself against the rumours.
He took to his Facebook page on Tuesday (14Jun16), writing, "Some tabloids have recently falsely reported that I am transitioning. In response, I feel compelled to set the record straight and refute these lies. Although I am not transitioning, I have and always will be supportive of those who are going through their journey."
Simmons went on to share his condolences for those involved in Sunday's (12Jun16) massacre, in which 49 people were shot and killed by a gunman who attacked a gay nightclub in Florida.
"We should not lose focus on showing love, strength and compassion to all of the LGBT community during these tragic times," Simmons wrote. "My broken heart and healing thoughts are with the people of Orlando and all other victims of prejudice, bigotry and hate."
While he has dismissed the sex change reports, Simmons is recovering from a stay at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center earlier this month (Jun16).
According to TMZ, he was admitted to hospital after exhibiting bizarre behaviour in front of his longtime friend and housekeeper. Paramedics determined he needed a medical evaluation so they could rule out a stroke or dementia, and after remaining under doctors' care overnight, he returned home a day later.
He assured fans he was OK, and released a statement which read: "Thank you to everyone who has reached out with love and concern after hearing I was in the hospital. I was dehydrated and needed some fluids and now I am feeling great! Summer is here - drink plenty of liquids. Big hugs and kisses for caring."
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