Simmons doesn't want the attention, Michael Catalano says
On the hit podcast Missing Richard Simmons, host Dan Taberski digs into Richard Simmons’ life in the three years since he left the public eye, saying that it’s a public plea for Richard to come back to all the people who miss him. But Simmons doesn’t want the attention, his manager tells PEOPLE.
“Dan said to me, people just want to have a chance to thank him and congratulate him and let him sort of have a final send-off. But he doesn’t require that!” Simmons’ manager, Michael Catalano, says. “You can’t force it on someone. He’s not asking for a curtain call.”
Catalano, who was interviewed for the sixth and final episode of the podcast, has worked with Simmons for almost 30 years, criss-crossing the country for the trainer’s many TV appearances, weight loss cruises and gym classes.
“It was nonstop with Richard,” Catalano tells PEOPLE. “Couldn’t start the day early enough! I’d say, Richard, well our first radio interview is at 4:30, and he’d say, well what about 4:00? What about 4:00? I’d say, Richard, it’ll be 4:30, and it would just be all day. He loved it.”
But after decades of an exhausting tour schedule that required Simmons to always be “on,” he simply wanted to stop and enjoy his life at home.
“He was ready to quiet down is what he’s told me, and it doesn’t mean he’s done, but for now, he’s enjoying the time away from the public,” Catalano says.
“There’s no event or any real reason for him to do that, so it’s not like there was some awful thing, a death in the family, something he was having trouble coping with. It was none of that. He’s just enjoying his time.”
In the final episode of Missing Richard Simmons, Catalano tells Taberski that all the attention he created isn’t helping Simmons.
“I can’t say that Richard feels better as a result of the podcast. Maybe you do. I think you’ve really created more worry and speculation,” Catalano says.
Catalano believes that Simmons should be able to leave public life without saying goodbye.
“He’s earned it,” Catalano says. “It has to be what he wants. He certainly has the right to write the ending.”