Richard Simmons finally had to say goodbye to his Slimmons studio crew on Nov. 19 as they locked the doors for the last time. Click through to read his tear-jerking statement about why he couldn't handle seeing his employees or long-time fans during his studio's final hours.
As Radar reported last month, the 68-year-old fitness guru decided it was time to shut down his exercise center in Los Angeles after opening it in 1974.
"Some of you may have heard that Simmons will close next month," he wrote on Facebook on Oct. 21. "While it is true, it has been an amazing part of my life to teach, meet and support people from all over the world."
But as the studio prepared to turn off its light for the final time on Nov. 19, Simmons couldn't bare to show up for the final round of goodbyes.
"I have never been very good with beginnings and endings," Simmons began another Facebook post on Nov. 19. "Well, it's been over forty years now, and I am finally taking my own advice. I am being kind to myself, and putting myself first."
Simmons went on, "I will not see you today because I am not very good at endings. I would just spend the whole time hugging and crying."
"My eyes would get puffy and red, my hair would get all frizzy and I'd be a mess," he added. "I cannot bear to be sad today. And you shouldn't be either."
Simmons' major decision to close his studio's doors may not have come as much of a surprise to his staff or studio members. An eyewitness, who went to go visit the facility earlier this year, said his gym was visibly falling apart.
"Attendance has dropped off, and when the place isn't locked shut, the instructors don't seem inspired," an insider told Radar in March. "They walk around like zombies. The place needs a major makeover!"
Even worse, not only was the air conditioning broken in the building, the spy also noticed old t-shirts that still showed a 1980's Simmons' face hung on dusty walls and videocassettes were still available to purchase.
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