Richard Simmons speaks publicly for the first time since vanishing three years ago.

For the first time in three years, former fitness guru Richard Simmons has spoken publicly.

His statement comes after a podcast documenting the media star’s mysterious ‘disappearance’ shot to the top of the iTunes charts.

Richard Simmons attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Image: Getty.

Simmons was last seen in public on February 2014, when he stopped teaching fitness classes, and completely shut himself off from celebrity life.

He even cut off his closest friends, some of whom were behind the podcast titled Missing Richard Simmons, with rumours that the fitness star had even been 'kidnapped' and was being held captive in his own home.

Now, in a statement exclusively provided to PEOPLE magazine, Simmons has spoken directly to his fans, just days after his manager Michael Catalano confirmed the 68-year-old had been hospitalised for severe indigestion.


Simmons also shared an image of himself from 2014 with the statement.

"Hello to everyone who has shown concern for me and sent their good wishes. You will never know how much it means to me," he said in a statement.

"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.

"I'm sure I will be feeling good and back home in a couple of days."

Simmons added that knowing he had people in his life who "love and care" for him had made him feel better.

"Hope to see you again soon!"