Despite the fact that his career peaked a couple decades ago, there's been a great deal of speculation surrounding former fitness guru Richard Simmons in recent months.
We're heard reports that Simmons is missing, and that his loved ones don't hear from him for months at a time.
There have been claims that Simmons is transgender and secretly living as a woman.
Now, Simmons has filed suit against The National Enquirer and Radar Online for allegedly perpetuating untrue rumors about his lifestyle:
In a statement issued this week, lawyers for Simmons had this to say:
"Mr. Simmons, like every person in this nation, has a legal right to insist that he not be portrayed as someone he is not. Even the most ardent supporter of sexual autonomy and LGBTQ rights is entitled to be portrayed in a manner that is truthful.
The statement continues:
"It is to vindicate that right, and the rights of all persons to be portrayed with dignity and honesty with regard to their sexual identity, that Mr. Simmons files this lawsuit."
Rather than backing down in their claims, however, the Enquirer and Radar have issued a joint statement defending their right to use information from trusted sources when reporting on the lives of public figures:
"For decades, Richard Simmons has used his outrageous behavior to build his brand and his bank account," reads the statement, posted just moments ago.
"For Mr. Simmons to now claim that his privacy has been invaded is hypocritical when his entire livelihood is based upon the public consumption of his image."
The outlets go on to argue that as a public figure, unusual developments in Simmons' life are of natural interest to the general population:
"This is a legitimate news story that demands coverage," their statement reads.
" It is the business of Radar and The National Enquirer — and has been for the past 90 years — to report on what goes on behind the closed doors of Hollywood."
Radar and the Enquirer conclude by refuting Simmons' claim that their reportage is in any way biased against members of the LGBT community, and to proclaim that they have no intention of ending their coverage of Simmons:
"Moreover, Mr. Simmons is raising a false equivalency in suggesting that Radar and The ENQUIRER’s coverage of gender identity somehow implies that the publication has a stance or position on this. We do not," the outlets write.
"We will also aggressively pursue our ongoing investigation into his life and who is really behind this bizarre and meritless lawsuit."
Clearly, this matter won't be settled any time soon.
We'll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.