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."

15 PHOTOS
Richard Simmons in his most recent appearances
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Richard Simmons in his most recent appearances
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 13: Personality Richard Simmons post performance at SPARKLE: An All-Star Holiday Concert at ACME Comedy Theatre on December 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David A. Walega/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Roth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Roth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: TV personality Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Richard Simmons attends inflation eve for the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Personality Richard Simmons attends Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Presented By POW! Entertainment - Day 1 held at Los Angeles Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Personality Richard Simmons attends Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Presented By POW! Entertainment - Day 1 held at Los Angeles Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
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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."

35 PHOTOS
Richard Simmons through the years
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Richard Simmons through the years
Richard Simmons, circa 1980. (Photo by Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Richard Simmons Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Richard Simmons Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
GENERAL HOSPITAL - Shoot Date: December 19, 1979. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) LOUISE HOVEN;RICHARD SIMMONS
GENERAL HOSPITAL - Shoot Date: October 6, 1980. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) RICHARD SIMMONS
TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON -- Air Date 09/28/1981 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political comedian Mark Russell, musical guest Tony Orlando, fitness expert Richard Simmons, guest host Joan Rivers (Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
American diet and fitness guru and author Richard Simmons, 1982. (Photo by American Stock Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1992: Actor Richard Simmons poses for a portrait in 1992 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1992: Actor Richard Simmons poses for a portrait in 1992 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 261 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fitness personality Richard Simmons during an interview with host Jay Leno on July 12, 1993-- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 609 -- Pictured: (l-r) Richard Simmons and Tyra Banks on January 12, 1995 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 609 -- Pictured: Richard Simmons arrives on January 12, 1995 -- (Photo by: Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: American fitness guru Richard Simmons, center, is joined by two policemen and others in an outdoor workout session sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board on February 10, 2000 in Union Square Park, New York City, New York. (Photo by Catherine McGann/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 16: Fitness expert Richard Simmons leads students in exercise at the Third Annual Nutrition Advisory Council Symposium sponsored by LAUSD Nutrition Network at California State University on June 16, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Richard Simmons (center right) with models in fashions by Jay McCarroll and Chris March at the Grand Central Station, Venderbilt Hall in New York City, New York (Photo by Jemal Countess/WireImage)
Fitness guru Richard Simmons poses for a photo while visiting the WGN studios in Chicago, Illinois, on May 8, 2008. (Photo by Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 24: Richard Simmons leads the crowd on the Cannon Terrace in exercises during the 'FIT Kids' rally to promote physical education in schools, following their testimony at a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on Thursday, July 24, 2008. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 28: Richard Simmons visits the 'Late Show with David Letterman' at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on July 28, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/WireImage)
MOUNT POCONO, PA - JANUARY 08: Richard Simmons attends An Evening with Richard Simmons at the Mount Airy Casino Resort on January 8, 2010 in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: -- Richard Simmons appears on NBC News' 'Today' show. (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: -- (l-r) Richard Simmons and William Shatner appear on NBC News' 'Today' show. (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - APRIL 22: Richard Simmons celebrates the passage of the Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act with a group of tourists at the US Capitol on April 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
(L-R) A guest, Richard Simmons and Denise Austin attend the godfather of fitness Jack LaLanne's 'Celebration of Life' memorial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery on February 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Brian To/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 10: Richard Simmons (R) during the 2011 Miss USA hula hoop contest Mile Shops on June 10, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Richard Simmons is seen on August 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: TV personality Richard Simmons leaves the 'Wendy Williams Show' taping at the AMV Studios on November 15, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 25: Richard Simmons at the Legendary Musician Peter Asher Autographs The Painted Guitar Titled 'British Invasion' At Gibson GuitarTown Sunset Strip Sunset Strip at Sunset Strip Market on October 25, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/WireImage)
KATIE - 4/10/13 - Obesity in America and childhood weight issues are discussed on KATIE, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Donna Svennevik/ABC via Getty Images) CHARLES HAINES, RICHARD SIMMONS
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 02: Richard Simmons attends the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's 24th Annual 'A Time For Heroes' at Century Park on June 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for EGPAF)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 09: Fitness personality Richard Simmons attends 2013 LA Gay Pride Festival - Day 3 on June 9, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodrigo Vaz/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 01: Richard Simmons performs at the Friend Movement Campaign benefit concert held at El Rey Theatre on July 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Richard Simmons and Diana Nyad swim during 'Swim for Relief' Benefiting Hurricane Sandy Recovery - Day 2 at Herald Square on October 9, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 13: Richard Simmons attends the 29th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles on October 13, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AIDS Walk Los Angeles)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Richard Simmons attends the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
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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.

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