Family, friends, and fans of Richard Simmons rejoiced when the missing former fitness guru turned up in a Denver area restaurant known for it's Disney-like portrayal of a Mexican village.
Found living in the back of a cave feature at Casa Bonita, Simmons apparently put on a uniform during the day and worked alongside the regular employees.
45 year old Carmel Souza is Hospitality chief at the famed Mexican Restaurant and is a big fan of Richard Simmons--so she was shocked to learn that her new co-worker for the last two weeks, Roger, was actually Simmons.
"Now I know why I liked him so much and he always seemed so familiar like a big brother, but with the beard and the mustache I really didn't recognize him. People are trying to say he went crazy, but the entire time he worked here, Roger, uh, Mr. Simmons was one of the best hosts we ever had and was on his way to the employee of the month award."
A Lakewood, CO, judge ordered Simmons held for a psychiatric evaluation after the incident, though Simmons insisted in court he was sane and sober.
Attorney Beth Cassandro repeated Simmons' assertion when she released a statement on his behalf.
"My client first wants to apologize for worrying everybody and for any trouble he caused for the staff of Casa Bonita, who he says are wonderful by the way. Secondly, he wants you all to know he is of sound mind and he just wanted to escape his jet-set lifestyle and live the life of a regular working person for a while. Mr. Simmons thanks everyone for the outpouring of concern, and because Mr. Simmons gained ten pounds while only eating Casa Bonita for two weeks, he wants you all to follow his exercise and weight loss on his blog Richardsimmons.com."
Casa Bonita GM, Jacki Duffpost, told this reporter that the famous restaurant has had problems recently with young adults and teens trying the "24 hour fort challenge" at the sprawling multi-level restaurant.
"There are so many places to hide, we've busted people smoking pot in the caves and building forts in the utility areas, but this is the first time someone set up a fort in Pirate's Cove, and for two weeks--I guess because Mr. Simmons worked during the day he was able to go undetected for so long. But be assured, we've got new procedures in place now to hopefully prevent this kind of incident from happening again."