Los Angeles Police recently visited Richard Simmons's house on a welfare check after rumours persisted that his housekeeper was holding him hostage.

They found him "perfectly fine" and "very happy," People magazine reported.

The article did not say when police made the check. But TMZ, quoting "law enforcement sources," said it was about two weeks ago.

Last month the fitness guru disappeared from the public eye and stopped speaking with close friends. He hasn't been seen since, leaving many to wonder about his safety.

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Recently, interest in the reclusive celebrity has grown with the launch of Missing Richard Simmons, a new podcast hosted by former The Daily Show producer Dan Taberski. It's quickly become the most popular podcast on iTunes.

On it, an old rumour resurfaced: that Simmons's maid Teresa Reveles is holding the aerobics instructor at his home against his will.

"None of it is true," Detective Kevin Becker told People.

"The fact of the matter is we went out and talked to him he is fine, nobody is holding him hostage."

In March last year, Simmons tried to silence the rumours by calling into the Today show.

"No one is holding me in my house as a hostage," he said. "You know, I do what I want to do as I've always done so people should sort of just believe what I have to say because, like, I'm Richard Simmons."

When asked about the rumour that Reveles had him under house arrest, Simmons responded, "That's just very silly. Teresa Reveles has been with me for 30 years. It's almost like we're a married couple."

Instead, he claimed to just want some alone time.

"You know, I had hurt my knee, and I had some problems with it, and then the other knee started giving me trouble ... and you know right now I just want to sort of take care of me."

Some have accused Taberski of attempting to make a name off the reclusive celebrity.

Taberski, though, claimed he wants to do more than merely find Simmons - or an audience.

"What we're doing is something of a grand gesture," Taberski told the Washington Post's Dan Zak.

"We are reminding him that what he did was important and that he helped countless people and they love him for it. There's something about him, maybe, that he doesn't believe, and hopefully this will jar that part of him."