Richard Simmons says he is not transgender in new court papers in his defamation lawsuit over stories suggesting he vanished from the limelight to have a sex change.
TMZ reports that the weight-loss guru filed legal documents in his lawsuit against the National Enquirer that list five reasons why the supermarket tabloid got it wrong when it reported he was transitioning to a woman.
“I am male. I am not transgender. I have never sought nor obtained any medical treatment or procedure designed to transition from male to female,” he says, according to the website.
He also says he “never had breast implant surgery” and “never consulted with any medical professional regarding sex reassignment surgery.”
Simmons, who has not stepped out in public since 2014, is suing the Enquirer’s parent company American Media but the company is fighting back, contending that calling someone transgender is not an insult, TMZ reported.
The 68-year-old Simmons addressed that in the legal papers as well, according to the website.
“I fully support transgender individuals and their struggle to achieve acceptance and equality,” he said. “Nonetheless, the false and fabricated claims that I was contemplating 'castration' and have had a 'boob job' have caused me extreme embarrassment.”
American Media did not respond to TMZ’s request for comment.
Stories in the Enquirer and Radar Online, another American Media outlet, claimed Simmons had “shocking sex surgery,” breast implants, hormone treatments and consultations on "medical castration,” according to the lawsuit.
“The National Enquirer and Radar Online have cheaply and crassly commercialized and sensationalized an issue that ought to be treated with respect and privacy,” the complaint said.
At the time the lawsuit was filed three months ago in Los Angeles, an American Media spokesman said the company was standing by its reporting about Simmons and would vigorously defend it in court.