The National Inquirer refutes claims that a story about Richard Simmons’ transitioning into a woman ruined his reputation.
American Media, the magazine’s parent company, filed docs this week fighting back against Simmons’ defamation suit, noting it shouldn’t stand because the story didn’t ruin the fitness guru’s reputation, TMZ reports.
The company also claims there is nothing insulting about saying someone is transgender and Simmons created gender uncertainty due to his “flamboyant” and “feminine” attire, according to docs obtained by the gossip site.
Simmons filed the suit, claiming libel and invasion of privacy, on May 8 for the June cover with the headline “Richard Simmons: He’s Now a Woman.”
Richard Simmons’ brother discusses fitness guru’s personal life
“This case is about a particularly egregious and hurtful campaign of defamations and privacy invasions, falsely asserting that Mr. Simmons is transitioning from a male to a female, including ‘shocking sex surgery,’ breast implants, hormone treatments and consultations on medical castration,” the May filing obtained by the Daily News states.
The 69-year-old called the publication “cruel and malicious” and noted the photos of him dressed as a woman were from 2013.
“Mr. Simmons is not a woman. He has not undergone or contemplated sex-change surgery,” the filing states plainly. “He is not the ‘new Caitlyn Jenner.'”
Simmons asked for an apology, a retracting, a permanent injunction and real and punitive damages. However, American Media is instead fighting back.
Richard Simmons tells fans ‘I hope to see you all soon’
The fitness guru made headlines after the Daily News published an investigative report on his disappearance from the spotlight. He has not made a public appearance in three years. In April, he was hospitalized for “sever indigestion” and hid from cameras under a blanket when leaving the hospital.
“Aren’t you sick of hearing and reading about me?! LOL Well by now you know that I’m not ‘missing,’ just a little under the weather,” he told his fans on Facebook after his brief hospital stay. “I’m sure I will be feeling good and back home in a couple of days.”
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