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As 'Missing Richard Simmons' podcast wraps, its creator has a theory about what happened to the fitness guru

 (Richard Shotwell / Associated Press)
(Richard Shotwell / Associated Press)

With the "Missing Richard Simmons" podcast coming to an end, his brother and longtime manager have stepped up to join the chorus of those saying the fitness guru, who hasn't been seen in public for three years, is fine, fine, fine.

Meanwhile, podcaster Dan Taberski wound up with a conclusion he hadn't anticipated when he wrapped up his six-part series Monday, a couple of days earlier than scheduled. 

"After 40-some-odd years, he just decided he wanted to rest," older bro Lenny Simmons told People. "He's 68 years old now and he's in good health, but he just wants time for himself." 

Lenny was repeating something he had shared with Taberski in the fifth episode of "Missing Richard Simmons": Lenny and his wife had visited Richard for five days around Christmas, and his brother was fine except for suffering from a cold. He didn't understand what his brother was doing, Lenny told Taberski, but he had to respect it. 

"These things about him transitioning to a woman are ridiculous," the elder Simmons told People — as he had previously told Taberski — alluding to one of the big where-is-Richard rumors that has circulated in the past three years. 

READ MORE: Richard Simmons 'just fine' according to LAPD wellness check >>

As for whether Simmons was being held hostage by longtime housekeeper Teresa Reveles, which was explored in the podcast? Taberski had a few things to say about that in his final episode, in a portion tinged with a just a splash of legalese.  

(Spoiler alert: If you haven't listened to the full six-part series and want to experience all of its twists and turns, you should stop reading this article now.)

People in a position to know came forward after the podcast went viral earlier this month, Taberski told his listeners. They included the LAPD detective who had done a wellness check at Simmons' Hollywood Hills home March 10, he said.

"Based on all this information, I believe Teresa Reveles is just doing her job," Taberski said after an I-want-to-make-this-very-clear setup. "Moreover, from what I hear now, she seems to be doing it well."

Taberski — who explained in the podcast that he and others had been very concerned since Simmons didn't show up at the Slimmons studio that day in February 2014 — has his own theory about what's up with someone he considers a friend: Basically, it has to do with how much of himself Simmons, whom Taberski had labeled an "empathist," had given to others over the years. Like, way too much. 

Also, longtime manager Michael Catalano told the podcaster, it turns out that many people who came into contact with Simmons — the one Taberski called that "short-shorts character" — may have overestimated the depth and significance of their relationships with him.

Ouch. That would mean that some or all of the people interviewed for the podcast, who were so worried about their "friend" because he left without saying goodbye, didn't know he just wasn't that into them in the first place.

"I think you've really created more worry and speculation," Catalano said, implying that the podcast, which Taberski said was intended as a "grand gesture" to Simmons, had made the fitness icon's life more difficult. 

"Where is he?" the podcaster reflected as he wrapped up his final episode. "He's home. Why has he done this? Because he just doesn't want to be that guy anymore.

"And who was that guy?" Taberski asked. "He was Richard Simmons. And he was amazing."

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