Richard Simmons has taken to social media to shoot down tabloid reports that he is transitioning into a woman.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Tuesday, the fitness guru said, “Some tabloids have recently falsely reported that I am transitioning. In response, I feel compelled to set the record straight and refute these lies. Although I am not transitioning, I have and always will be supportive of those who are going through their journey.”
Simmons also expressed condolences to those affected by the mass shooting that left 50 dead (including the shooter) and 53 injured at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
“We should not lose focus on showing love, strength and compassion to all of the LGBT community during these tragic times,” Simmons wrote. “My broken heart and healing thoughts are with the people of Orlando and all other victims of prejudice, bigotry, and hate.”
Simmons has kept a low profile in recent years but was hospitalized for dehydration earlier this month. The incident sparked transition rumors that his reprsentative Tom Estey staunchly denied in an interview with PEOPLE last week.
“He’s a human being,” Estey added. “He was in the public eye for over three decades, but he deserves his privacy. He should be able to have a private life. He just needed a break.”