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Posted: April 18, 2017

Richard Simmons photographed leaving hospital after suffering gastrointestinal issues 

By Nicole Moschella, and Brianna Chambers, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Fitness guru Richard Simmons returned home Thursday after spending three days at a Los Angeles-area hospital.

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According to TMZ, Simmons’ housekeeper called police and asked for an escort to shield Simmons from paparazzi on the walk from his garage to his house.

He was photographed with the escort and his housekeeper while hiding under a blanket.

Simmons had not been photographed in about three years.

According to TMZ, Simmons was battling “discomfort while eating” and “gastrointestinal issues” for days before seeking treatment at a hospital.

“Richard Simmons was hospitalized on Monday at an undisclosed location in California,” Michael Catalano, a representative for Simmons, told ABC News on Tuesday. “After a few days of battling severe indigestion and discomfort while eating, we agreed it was best for him to seek treatment.”

Simmons was driven to the hospital and did not need an ambulance, TMZ reported.

Catalano told ABC Tuesday that Simmons, 68, was “already feeling better and is expected to make a full recovery.” 

Simmons posted a message to his Facebook page Wednesday. 

“Hello to everyone who has shown concern for me and sent their good wishes. You will never know how much it means to me,” he wrote, in part. “Just knowing you care has already made me feel better.”

According to TMZ, this week’s incident is Simmons’ second time being hospitalized in the last year. Last summer, he was treated at Cedars-Sinai for three days after his housekeeper said he became incoherent. His representatives said he had suffered severe dehydration.

Simmons disappeared from the public eye for nearly three years.

“No one should be worried about me,” Simmons told “Entertainment Tonight” last year. “It was time for me to take some time to be by myself.

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