O Brother, Where Art Thou? – Missing Richard Simmons (Ep. 5)

As we wind down to the end of this podcast, we finally get some answers from a pretty valuable source, Richard’s brother, Lenny.

Listen to the podcast here.

Promos: 0:00 – 0:24

Lenny Has The Answers

The podcast begins back in New Orleans with Dan trying to meet Lenny, Richard’s brother. After knocking on Lenny’s door unannounced, Lenny slams the door in Dan’s face, forcing Dan to reach out to him via telephone and apologize. Here are the highlights from their conversation:

  • Lenny and his wife visited Richard at his home for Christmas and had a great time
    • This is typically how Richard spends his Christmas
    • Richard is doing what he wants to do – enjoying life and kicking back
    • Richard is not angry with anyone but doesn’t want to talk to anyone. Just wants to be quiet
    • Richard calls Lenny every Sunday
    • Richard is not too worried about the rumors that are floating around his disappearance

Is Richard Becoming A Woman?

National Enquirer published a headline about Richard hiding as a result of his decision to become a woman.

  • Dan admits it’s a good theory, especially since the first time we heard from Richard was on a phone call to the Today show

Dan meets with a Slimmons alum, Ben Harper:

  • Ben recalls going to class and seeing Richard dressed as a woman multiple times
  • Dan calls out the fact that Richard has been dressing like a woman since the 80s and never tried to hide it
    • As recent as 2014, Richard would make appearances as a woman
  • In the time leading up to his disappearance, Richard was dressing up as woman a lot more
    • Some more Slimmons alums say that Richard would show up to class in full drag and looked “Amazing”
  • Richard posted a series of videos where he dresses as all sorts of women (and men)
  • With all this, Richard denies transitioning. Dan doesn’t believe that is what’s happening

More From Lenny

  • Lenny comments on Richard’s and Teresa’s close relationship, saying nothing about her holding Richard hostage in his own home
  • Lenny doesn’t think that Mauro has Richard’s best interests in mind
  • Lenny also struggled to say that Richard was a happy person
  • Lenny confirms that Richard is healthy and has no medical problems
  • Lenny doesn’t really know why Richard decided to become a recluse
  • It is likely that Richard is just at home and not wanting to come out

The Cruise to Lose

  • Richard used to host a week long cruise
    • It was similar to all other cruises, except that you also had the opportunity to work out with Richard and attend seminars and group meetings to learn how to lead a healthier life
  • Cathy, who has appeared in the podcast before, talks about her experience on the cruise
    • The environment on the cruise was perfect
    • Large people were not shamed and were accepted. Gave her a sense of freedom that she couldn’t get anywhere else
  • The connection that Richard makes with a lot of these people (mainly women) is really strong, some even say that it’s sexual
    • This connection is very intense
  • Almost every cruise, someone was close to committing suicide because Richard didn’t pay her enough attention while on the cruise

Was Richard Over His Head?

  • Richard needed these people’s problems more than they needed him
  • Richard would ignore people who made it to their goal weight
  • Richard was providing therapeutic services for all these people without having any training on how to do it correctly
    • He never learned how to let go of all the sadness he encountered
  • By the end of the cruise, Richard was defeated
    • He would expend so much energy for other people. He looked “busted”
  • There are people who you can never do enough for and when you stop trying to help them, they feel empty and blame you for it
    • These types of people can only be abandoned, or else they will suck the life out of everyone around them
    • Is this why Richard abandoned the world?
  • A fan recounts a story about her mom passing away
    • She stumbles upon Richard’s website and decides to write to Richard letting him know how much he meant to her mother
    • Thinking nothing of it, Richard calls her a few days later and leaves a message on her phone
    • Richard is obviously affected by this woman’s story as you can hear him crying on the other end of the phone
  • Dan believes Richard lost control of his ability to feel empathy for his millions of fans

Dan ends the episode saying that there will only be one more episode in the podcast. Dan will try one more thing to get a hold of Richard.

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