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icon's reclusive behavior has been thrust into the spotlight, with accusations and insinuations that the 68-year-old Simmons is being help captive or having his actions controlled by his housekeeper.

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Dan Taberski, who was a close friend of Simmons and created the podcast, explained that he began the project two years after the health and fitness advocate supposedly began distancing himself from his circle of friends and stopped leaving his house. We were turning down stuff for years and just kind of quieting down, and when he decides that he wants to come back, that's when he'll come back." LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 13: Personality Richard Simmons post performance at SPARKLE: An All-Star Holiday Concert at ACME Comedy Theatre on December 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Walega/Wire Image)LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Personality Richard Simmons attends Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Presented By POW!

WATCH: Richard Simmons Speaks Out: 'No One Should Worry About Me' According to Estey, Reveles has not been keeping Simmons captive, but rather has been caring for his every need."Teresa is the housekeeper, she's the caretaker, she is extraordinary, she is amazing, she takes impeccable care of Richard and she has for as long as I have been working with Richard," Estey said, flat-out denying the insinuations that she's been holding him "hostage.""Richard made a choice. If he decides to come back, he'll come back," Estey added. Entertainment - Day 1 held at Los Angeles Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Ortega/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Personality Richard Simmons attends Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Presented By POW!

"So treat him like a saint and leave him alone."ET has reached out to Simmons' rep.

WATCH: Richard Simmons Reportedly Hospitalized For 'Bizarre' Behavior Accusations that Simmons was being held against his will first surfaced in March 2016 when the Daily News ran a feature article on his disappearance from the public arena.

"My intention is not to diminish the #Me Too movement in any way, but instead hold my accusers accountable," he wrote.

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