Richard Simmons’ former best friend Mauro Oliveira is concerned about his well-being and has penned an open letter.
After rumors swirled that he was missing, Simmons called in to the “Today” show last week to affirm the fact that he is not being held hostage and will "come back strong.”
Oliveira became close to Simmons while working as his assistant from 2013-2014. The 49-year-old claims that Simmons decided to end their friendship, and he hasn’t seen him since in April 2014.
In an open letter, obtained by Radar Online, Oliveira pleaded with Richard to return to the spotlight after stepping out of the public eye for more than two years. He wrote, "Everyone misses you and is worried about you and wishes to see the 'old' Richard again. When I was contacted to talk about you, it wasn't crossing my mind at all to talk about anything in regards to you. You coming out of the shadows, by calling your favorite shows, totally screwed up the book sales, but who cares, we heard from you and that's ALL that matters."
Oliveira has written a book called “King Rich and the Evil Witch,” which he says is based on his time with Richard. In the letter, he explained why he released it. "The book sales weren't a priority, an issue or a motive in the first place. It was written over a year ago and I wasn't looking to publicize it anyways, by any means. I am just pleased I 'gave' to your fans that extra peace of mind to hear your voice. I am truly looking forward to your coming back and see how much you are missed and loved by America with my own eyes.”
Mauro blamed Richard’s “gate keepers” for his decision to retreat from the public eye. He wrote, "Please find peace and happiness at last and never allow anyone to make up your mind otherwise. We both know, that the main part of your disappearance is because we are not allowed to be friends anymore by your gate keepers. I don't want anything from you other than your happiness."
He went on, "I hope that I will have a formal and happy goodbye with you in this lifetime. I said YOU only, not with anyone else around, interfering with a million intentions. I am inviting myself to be your date to a nice dinner when you decide to go out again, even if that would be the last time I see you. Can you imagine how many lights will be there just for you?????”
Mauro also acknowledged how much people still care about Richard, writing,"Richard, can't you make and own your decisions? You are still calling the shots with EVERYONE around you, and still the boss. Just know that!!!! Finally, did you see you much you were trending all over the world, even on Facebook? That was the best part of everything.”
He closed the letter by telling Simmons to go visit an elderly friend. "And again, please see Gerri Synclair, she is 95; only God knows how many months she will be on this earth. She loves you very much, misses you very much and it is her last wish to see you again; she told me that in tears during a dinner. Forget about us, just please take Gerri to a date and have the time of your lives and know that I love and care about you unconditionally."