Richard Simmons sues National Enquirer for libel

FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2013 file photo, Richard Simmons arrives at the MTV Video Music Awards in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Simmons sued the National Enquirer, its online outlet and its parent company for libel on Monday, May 8, 2017, over stories that claimed he is living as a transgender woman. Simmons' lawsuit states the Enquirer based its stories on a man who has tried to blackmail him for years. National Enquirer publisher, American Media, Inc., said Monday that it is standing by its reporting. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Richard Simmons has filed a libel lawsuit against the National Enquirer and its parent company over stories that claim he is living as a transgender woman

LOS ANGELES — Richard Simmons filed a libel and invasion of privacy lawsuit Monday against the National Enquirer and its parent company over stories that said he is now living as a transgender woman.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages as well as an apology and retraction for stories published in June 2016 and March 2017 in the Enquirer and its website, RadarOnline.

The lawsuit also names their parent company, American Media, Inc., and said the stories' main source was a man who has tried to blackmail the former fitness guru for years, and included a 2013 photo of Simmons dressed in drag.

Simmons' lawsuit' said he often dressed as a woman as part of "his well-known and longstanding burlesque-style entertainment persona."

The lawsuit listed what is said were 16 factual errors in the first story, including that Simmons had transitioned to become a woman and had undergone gender reassignment treatments.

Simmon retreated from public life in 2014, sparking rampant speculation about his health and wellbeing and a popular podcast named "Missing Richard Simmons."

His manager has said Simmons decided to step back from the spotlight, and his previous years of high-profile appearances do not mean he is required to remain in the public eye. Simmons' manager and attorney did not immediately respond to phone and email messages Monday.

"For Mr. Simmons to claim that his privacy has been invaded is hypocritical when his entire livelihood is based upon the public consumption of his image," the National Enquirer wrote in a statement defending its reporting after the lawsuit was filed. "At the end of the day, how Mr. Simmons lives his life is news and of interest to our readers."

The case said Simmons is entitled to recover damages for his emotional distress caused by the story. It also said his retreat from public life is not a justification for the publication of false stories about him.

"The National Enquirer and Radar used Mr. Simmons' respite from the glare of public life to treat his persona as a defamation free-fire zone, acting as if they had a license to publish any story they wanted about Simmons," the lawsuit said.

___

Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

Related News

Fleming sings what may be staged standard repertoire finale

May 14, 2017

Renee Fleming retired the role of the Marschallin in Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier" at the Metropolitan Opera after 22 years in what may be her farewell to staged standard repertoire

The Latest: Police officer says he ID'd himself to Blake

Sep 19, 2017

A New York City police officer who mistakenly arrested former pro tennis star James Blake says he identified himself as soon as he put his hands on him

Music Review: Rub-a-dub-dub and much more from Imelda May

Apr 20, 2017

Imelda May's marriage of 18 years recently ended, and "Life, Love, Flesh, Blood" finds her on the romantic rebound

You may also like these

Fleming sings what may be staged standard repertoire finale

May 14, 2017

Renee Fleming retired the role of the Marschallin in Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier" at the Metropolitan Opera after 22 years in what may be her farewell to staged standard repertoire

The Latest: Police officer says he ID'd himself to Blake

Sep 19, 2017

A New York City police officer who mistakenly arrested former pro tennis star James Blake says he identified himself as soon as he put his hands on him

Music Review: Rub-a-dub-dub and much more from Imelda May

Apr 20, 2017

Imelda May's marriage of 18 years recently ended, and "Life, Love, Flesh, Blood" finds her on the romantic rebound

Financial Markets

In Celeb Wired, we talk about everything in the entertainment industry from A to Z. We keep our gossip hunters updated with the daily hot news because we have exactly what you’re looking for.

Contact us: sales@celebwired.com

Celebrity Adult Entertainment Animation & Comics Award Shows Beauty Pageants Books & Literature Fashion Shows Movies Music Radio Programs Television Programs Variety Shows Press