Richard Simmons Explains More Than 2-Year Public Absence

Richard Simmons denied he has been kidnapped and says he has “just been taking it easy” since making his last official public appearance in 2013.

“I am not kidnapped,” Simmons, 67, said in a phone interview with “Entertainment Tonight” on Sunday. “I am just in my house right now.”

“I love all the people who worry about me,” the fitness guru said. “But it was time for me to take some time to be by myself. For the last 40 years I have been traveling, teaching classes, and I had a knee injury, so I had a knee replacement, which was very difficult for me. I have really just been taking it easy, staying at home, working out in my gym and doing the things I haven’t done in a very long time.”

Simmons, who last appeared in public at the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, spoke out after a New York Daily News report published over the weekend raised concerns that he was being held against his will in his Hollywood Hills mansion. The report cited Simmons’ “closest friends.”

One of those friends concerned about Simmons’ well-being is Mauro Oliveira, Simmons’ former assistant.

Oliveira, who last saw Simmons two years ago, recently self-published an e-book titled, “King Rich and the Evil Witch,” in which he claims Simmons’ female housekeeper has control over him through her witchcraft.

“That’s what I believe,” Oliveira told ABC News’ Nick Watt. “I said, ‘Is she controlling your life now?’ and he said, ‘Yes.’”

Oliveira told Watt he believes members of Simmons’ staff are holding him for his money.

“The house alone is worth $10 million,” Oliveira said of Simmons’ mansion.

Source: ABC News

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Japanese Fashion Trends

Japanese people are generally known for their creative and unique outfits. Three of the major Japanese fashion trends seen today, include the following: Harajuku, Cat and Furisode trends.

The Harajuku Fashion, which stems from the Harajuku District in Tokyo, and is known as the Birthplace of the Universal Concept “Kawaii”. Harajuku fashion is imaginative and vibrant, to the point of seeming eccentric at times to the older generation. There are many types of fashion in Harajuku including the unique Japanese Lolita style with emphasis on girlish cuteness and coquettish beauty, the medieval aristocrats-inspired Gothic style, the Gothic Lolita style that is a combination the two, and the ballerina-inspired style that mixes vibrant, colorful tops with a tutu skirt. Hats and leggings of all kinds are also popular in this area. Lots of bright colors are generally used, with no set of specific rules.

Then there is Cat Fashion. Cat’s are popular pets in Japan, and Cat Fashion has become popular among young Japanese woman in their teens and twenties. Cat’s are admired in Japan for their independent nature and the way they move, and cat lover’s want to express love and admiration for their cats through their clothing.

Cat-themed fashion items include clothes, shoes, Alice headbands, jewelry, and other accessories. Some popular items include blouses made from cat-print materials, skirts and pants designed as large cat faces using buttons and embroidery, and T-shirts printed with big cat faces. There is also hats and headbands with cat ears available.

Trends in Furisode is another style, but stems from more traditional roots. It features long sleeves that hang down to the ankles or calves, and has its origins in the Heian period (794-1185). By the early Edo period (1603-1868), the Furisode had become the standard formal wear for women that weren’t married. The garments are also said to protect against disaster and disease by shaking off misfortune with their long sleeves. The modern twist to this style, is using more modern colors, and contrasting the color of their Furisode to their Obi, (sash).

So between the very new and vibrant, to the very animalistic, to the traditional with a modern twist, Japanese Fashion Trends continue to push the envelopes of fashion and are as unique and varied in style with themselves, as they are with the rest of the world.

Understanding Dubai’s Social Etiquette

While the modern city of Dubai welcomes visitors from all over the world, visitors should respect that Dubai is a Muslim city and take into consideration how they dress and the way they conduct themselves while there. Before making a visit, it’s important to become knowledgeable in the social etiquette and culture in Dubai.

Modest Dress
Visitors to Dubai, especially women, should dress modestly while in conservative areas and in public places where they’ll be seen by other people. Although swimwear is acceptable, it should only be worn around the swimming pool and the beach, taking care to be covered up elsewhere. Shorts and T-Shirts are also acceptable attire when visiting Dubai, however if you intend on visiting a mosque or another religious site, you should dress a bit more formally in loose-fitting clothes that cover the shoulders, arms, and legs. That applies to both men and women, with women also being required to wear a headscarf before being allowed into a mosque.

Courteous Behavior
In terms of behavior, courtesy and hospitality are important virtues in the Arab community and visitors will be treated with friendliness and given a warm welcome. When in the presence of new guests, it’s important to stand, as men are also expected to stand when a woman enters the room. When a visitor is greeting a member of the opposite sex who’s Muslim, you shouldn’t be the one to initiate a handshake as both Muslim men and women (mostly women) may not wish to shake hands without someone of the opposite sex because of religious reasons; you should only participate in a handshake if they extend their hand first.

Body Gestures
If someone offers you food, you should accept it with your right hand, which is also the hand you should eat with. You should also never point or beckon with your finger and if you must make a hand gesture, use your whole hand to make the gesture. Also, while in public, you should make sure the soles of your feet are hidden and that you’re not pointing your toes at anyone.

If you find yourself sitting in front of an important guest, you shouldn’t cross your legs as doing so is considered rude. And if you happen to be hosting Muslim guests, it’s important to keep in mind that you should never offer them an alcoholic beverage or any pork.