Is Richard Simmons planning a comeback? Fitness guru signs with licensing firm

Is Richard Simmons planning a comeback?

It's been three years since the fitness guru was last seen in public, but his latest move may indicate a return to the spotlight.

Prominent Brand + Talent, the management company co-founded by Simmons' longtime manager Michael Catalano, announced Wednesday that it's secured exclusive worldwide rights to represent the fitness icon for merchandising, licensing and endorsements.

According to the release, new products are being designed to build on his line of current merchandise, "which has sold more than $1.5 billion throughout the years via retailers such as Walmart, Payless, QVC, Avon, Amazon and more."

However, what has yet to be confirmed is whether or not Simmons will be involved in publicly promoting the new products. If so, it would be the first time he has been seen since teaching his last class at the now-closed Slimmons Studio in Beverly Hills, California.

Despite his retreat from public life, the former "Sweatin' to the Oldies" icon has recently made headlines following the release of hit podcast, "Missing Richard Simmons." The series was created by Dan Taberski, a Slimmons Studio attendee and close friend, who wanted to dig deeper into the fitness star's self-imposed exile.

Simmons' longtime friend and massage therapist, Mauro Oliveira, alleged in one episode that he was being held hostage by his housekeeper Teresa Reveles. Richard's manager, Michael Catalano, staunchly denied the claims, calling it a "complete load of crap."

A visit by the Los Angeles Police Department to Richard's home revealed that all is well, but those who were once close to him paint a different picture.

Oliveira also said that Richard has "stopped talking to many loving, longtime friends," which comes at a surprise because he was alway seen as a "people person."

His manager silenced critics once and for all, saying that his client just doesn't want the attention:

"You can't force it on someone. He's not asking for a curtain call."

Though Simmons has remained in hiding, for now, it doesn't mean he'll be out of the spotlight forever:

"He was ready to quiet down is what he's told me, and it doesn't mean he's done, but for now, he's enjoying the time away from the public," Catalano said.