What’s the legacy of Hugh Hefner? Notorious libertine and hedonist? Groundbreaking writer and free-speech warrior? Tradition changer, vampire, monster? All the above?
Proper off the bat in A&E’s docuseries “Secrets and techniques of Playboy,” considered one of Hefner’s ex-girlfriends, Holly Madison, says the legacy mud is not settled but. He died in 2017 at age 91, escaping the #MeToo twister of takedowns of different highly effective Hollywood males.
However, “Secrets and techniques of Playboy” contains 10 hours of individuals speaking about Hefner and the Playboy empire he created. And in none-too-flattering phrases.
Scores of Hefner’s girlfriends, mates, staff and colleagues clarify how they selected to embrace the approach to life he flaunted earlier than America’s many bluenoses, and the way they finally realized – too late – it was all a soul-destroying sham.
“What I need to say to Hefner is you destroyed a whole lot of lives,” says PJ Masten, a former Playboy “bunny mom.” “You had been power-hungry. You did not care concerning the lives of those ladies. It was all about what folks perceived about you. And it was all a lie.”
‘Secrets and techniques of Playboy’:Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriends, Playmates and staff allege a tradition of abuse
A few of Hefner’s mates defend him within the collection. “If you are not joyful, pack up your stuff and go – you might have walked out the door anytime,” says Hefner’s photographer pal Alison Reynolds.
Hefner’s son, Cooper, not too long ago spoke out in help of his father on Twitter, saying that Hefner “cared deeply for folks” and that the tales within the collection are “salacious.”
Playboy issued a assertion noting that right now’s Playboy just isn’t Hefner’s Playboy.
“We belief and validate these ladies and their tales and we strongly help these people who’ve come ahead to share their experiences,” Playboy stated within the assertion. “It’s critically vital that we pay attention.”
Earlier this month, Individuals journal printed an open letter signed by lots of of former Playboy bunnies, Playmates, former girlfriends and staff denouncing “Secrets and techniques of Playboy” and the allegations it makes in opposition to Hefner.
“He was an individual of upstanding character, distinctive kindness and dedication to free thought,” the letter stated. “Our time inside Hugh Hefner’s Playboy and the group’s subsidiaries stays a interval all of us are keen on.”
A&E issued a press release to USA TODAY in response to the letter, arguing that the non-public experiences of Hefner’s accusers should be advised, “regardless of how tough they might be for some to listen to.”
“Signatures on a letter, or a distinct expertise with Mr. Hefner or the Playboy tradition, don’t negate the experiences of those that have come ahead to share their reality on the collection and we look ahead to persevering with to convey these tales to gentle.”
A disclaimer after each episode notes that the “overwhelming majority of allegations (in opposition to Hefner and associates) haven’t been topic to felony investigations or costs, and they don’t represent guilt.”
Six episodes of “Secrets and techniques of Playboy” have aired. Listed here are a number of the most gorgeous claims up to now:
Former Playmate Miki Garcia: I refused to sleep with Hugh Hefner, misplaced out as a Playmate of the Yr
Episode 6 focuses on a number of the ladies who labored their manner up the Playboy company ladder and what they are saying they discovered there. Main the refrain of critics is Garcia, one of many first Hispanic Playmates of the Month (Miss January 1973), who later grew to become director of Playmate promotions.
Garcia says she discovered her first enterprise lesson from Hefner when she was up for the profitable Playmate of the Yr title. She was requested to go to the mansion to fulfill Hefner – and she or he knew what that meant: She was anticipated to have intercourse with him. Garcia tried to keep away from the assembly till she was advised “no extra excuses” by Hefner lieutenants.
“I knew if I didn’t go to mattress with him, I’d not get Playmate of the Yr,” she says. The title went to a different Playmate.
She additionally says she was raped twice throughout her time at Playboy, together with by a well-known TV actor she doesn’t title.
The demise of Dorothy Stratten, the 1980 Playmate of the Yr who was 20 when she was shot to demise by her estranged husband, was the “remaining straw,” Garcia says.
So in October 1985, she appeared earlier than a President Reagan-era federal fee on pornography to testify about what she referred to as the “inside story” of Playboy, together with allegations of rape, sexual abuse, violent crime, suicide and drug-peddling.
“Playboy was harmful to ladies and I used to be going to cease it any manner I may,” she says.
Ex-girlfriend Sondra Theodore: I used to be manipulated into orgies, raped by Hefner’s cronies
Episode 5 focuses solely on Sondra Theodore’s lengthy listing of allegations in opposition to Hefner, with whom she lived as his No. 1 girlfriend for 5 years from the late Nineteen Seventies to early Nineteen Eighties. Usually weeping, she describes herself as a 19-year-old “candy, angelic, naive” lady when she met Hefner (who was 50 on the time), fell “in love” with him and moved into the Playboy Mansion, solely to find later that she wasn’t No. 1 and that she can be compelled or manipulated into sexual acts.
“He broke me such as you break a horse,” she says. “He stated I used to be the primary lady he appreciated sufficient to think about to having a child with – that was his manner of being romantic. I used to be not worldly sufficient to see by it, (to see) that he had a spouse and youngsters and a number of girlfriends.”
Theodore describes Hefner as a “monster” and a “vampire,” alleging he dabbled in bestiality and appreciated watching “snuff” movies.
She says Hefner would rent porn stars to return to his bed room and have intercourse with ladies residing on the mansion whereas he watched. He stored a number of intercourse toys within the headboard of the mattress, in keeping with his valet, Stefan Tetanbaum, who says the maids’ job was to clear and sterilize them each morning, encase them in plastic and return them to the headboard.
However Theodore is most undone by Hefner’s pestering her to “social gathering,” which means arrange and take part in orgies, which so upset her she consumed cocaine to dam the emotional and bodily ache. These group intercourse periods in his bed room, which his valet corroborates within the episode, may contain as much as a dozen folks, she says.
She says she felt she was being raped throughout these periods. “I felt so violated having a person I didn’t need to be with power himself on me, and I felt sick inside that the person I felt was my boyfriend was OK with that.”
Declare: Bobbie Arnstein killed herself as a result of she did not need to testify in opposition to Hefner
Bobbie Arnstein, Hefner’s govt assistant, was discovered useless in a Chicago lodge room in January 1975 at age 34. Close by was a suicide word defending Hefner as a “ethical” man who had been “beneficiant” throughout her “current difficulties,” in keeping with the Chicago Reader.
These difficulties included ensnarement in a drug trafficking investigation through which she was accused of being a drug mule for the Chicago Playboy Mansion underneath orders from Hefner. She was wiretapped, indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced to fifteen years in a federal jail. She overdosed a couple of months later.
On the time, Hefner angrily blamed her suicide on “harassment” by authorities prosecutors utilizing her to get to him to close down Playboy.
Theodore says within the collection that medication had been throughout Playboy, and Hefner was an everyday person of cocaine, Quaaludes and different capsules. She claims she was a drug mule for Hefner.
“If Sondra had come ahead with this testimony on the time, it will have modified the investigation, and Bobbie Arnstein would not have died as a result of she didn’t need to testify in opposition to (Hefner),” says David Reuben, a former investigator for the Prepare dinner County state lawyer’s workplace who was concerned within the trafficking case.
‘Secrets and techniques of Playboy’ raises the query:What’s modified for ladies who pose nude?
Hugh Hefner’s most enduring relationship was with a person, the collection alleges
Jennifer Saginor grew up within the Playboy Mansion because the daughter of Hefner’s longtime live-in physician, Mark Saginor. She printed a memoir in 2005 about her experiences, “Playground: A Childhood Misplaced Contained in the Playboy Mansion,” which included being underage when she was launched to intercourse, medication and breast enhancement.
She says her father was Hefner’s “greatest pal” for greater than 40 years. “It’s my private perception that the love of Hef’s life was my father,” she says.
Dr. Saginor gave up his observe to stay with Hefner and introduced his daughter with him. At age 15, Saginor says, she had a sexual affair with considered one of Hefner’s grownup girlfriends, which she says staff of the mansion knew about (one confirmed it on digital camera.)
Now residing in California, Dr. Saginor was contacted by “Inside Version” after the collection’ debut and rejected accusations he was nicknamed “Dr. Feelgood” for prescribing prescription capsules to folks at Playboy.
Former girlfriend Holly Madison calls Playboy ‘a cult,’ says intercourse with Hefner was ‘traumatic’
Madison, considered one of Hefner’s live-in lovers seen on E!’s “The Ladies Subsequent Door,” a actuality present concerning the Playboy Mansion, says she contemplated suicide due to her time with him. She says Playboy reminded her of a “cult” and describes her first expertise of intercourse with Hefner as “traumatic.” She says she thought she was in love with Hefner, however “it was very Stockholm syndrome.”
The stress on the interchangeable girlfriends to look the identical was intense. When Madison reduce her lengthy blond hair in an effort to look totally different, Hefner screamed at her, she says.
Playboy allegedly coated up intercourse crimes dedicated in opposition to bunnies by VIPs
Masten says she repeatedly warned her bunny costs to not to go to after-parties or go dwelling with VIPs. “As soon as they left the membership, they weren’t protected,” she says.
Former Playboy bunnies, Playmates and different staff say that they knew of girls who lived on the Playboy Mansion or labored at Playboy golf equipment who had been drugged and raped by company and members of Hefner’s entourage off the property and that these assaults had been hushed up and by no means reported to police, usually on the victims’ request.
Jaki Nett, a former Playboy bunny and bunny coach from 1969 to 1979, says she and one other bunny went to a celebration on the dwelling of a Playboy VIP member, the place they had been drugged and raped.
“I did not need to go to the police,” she says. “The one factor Playboy may do is take his membership away. Playboy did defend and help me; what ladies want is to be believed and that is what occurred to me.”
Declare: Bunnies had been lured from Playboy’s Nice Gorge resort to seem in a ‘film,’ then raped, videotaped
One other horrifying incident allegedly includes the now-closed Nice Gorge Playboy Membership in New Jersey throughout Playboy’s twenty fifth anniversary.
Based on Suzanne Charneski, a Playboy bunny from 1979 to 1982, a gaggle of males pretending to be Hollywood producers visited the resort in 1979 and invited a gaggle of bunnies to a home within the mountains close by to probably be filmed for his or her “film.”
“They had been drugged, raped and videotaped, they had been stored there for a few days after which launched and advised in the event that they advised anybody the movies can be broadcast,” Charneski says.
When phrase obtained out, “they had been fired, advised to get off they property and by no means come again – no remedy, no physician.” She says she was warned “you might get fired when you speak about this.”
A bunny stored her alleged encounter with Invoice Cosby to herself as a result of he was ‘considered one of Hefner’s greatest mates’
Invoice Cosby is considered one of a number of celebrities accused of sexually assaulting ladies on the mansion. Though he has by no means been charged with that, he’s now embroiled in a civil go well with from a lady who accuses Cosby of sexual battery on the mansion in 1974 when she was 15. He denies her allegations.
Masten, one other of the main accusers in “Secrets and techniques of Playboy,” is considered one of about 60 ladies who beginning in 2014 accused Cosby of sexual assault. She says Cosby drugged and raped her in a Chicago lodge in 1979, when she was a Playboy bunny. She stated she was advised she’d higher preserve quiet as a result of nobody would consider her, as a result of Cosby was considered one of Hefner’s greatest mates. Cosby has denied her allegations.
“Within the 10 years that I labored for Playboy, I’d enterprise to say that there have been most likely 40 to 50 younger ladies that had been silenced by Playboy due to sexual abuse,” she says. Hefner knew about these episodes, Masten says, as a result of he learn the day by day safety studies.
“The bunny costume made you’re feeling highly effective, however I noticed you misplaced your energy while you took off the costume – you didn’t have safety,” she says.
Playboy’s ‘cleanup crews’ declare they mopped up medication, deaths and rapes
Masten and a number of former staff of the mansion declare Playboy had “cleanup crews” to verify scandals similar to overdoses, deaths and sexual assaults remained underneath wraps so they may not mar Playboy’s picture.
“If something scandalous occurred, we needed to clear it up and ensure it wouldn’t get within the press or reported to police.” Masten says. “We weren’t allowed to take ladies to the hospital; we needed to name Playboy safety.”
Jim Ellis, who labored as Hefner’s bodyguard from 1980 to 1981, additionally confirmed the existence of cleanup crews. “Once I was first employed, (the top of safety) sat me down and he says, ‘In case you ever discuss to the media about something that you simply see right here, you are going to want you hadn’t,’ ” Ellis says.
Hidden cameras, microphones recorded sexual goings-on on the Playboy Mansion
Former staff and residents of the mansion claimed cameras and microphones had been hidden all over the place to file folks with out their data.
“Each room, even exterior on the property, had cameras,” says Tetenbaum. In a video clip from a long time in the past, Hefner acknowledged he had cameras in the home.
Hefner had a cache of tapes and movies of orgies and drug consumption to make use of in case anybody threatened to squeal, in keeping with Theodore and others.
“He lets the media into all these events on objective as a result of normally they find yourself doing one thing they’ll remorse,” Theodore says. “So down the street if something goes to return out adverse about him, he’d simply say ‘I don’t assume so – bear in mind this?’ ”
Hefner’s girlfriends say they had been compelled to signal contracts
Madison and one other Hefner ex, Bridget Marquardt, say they weren’t paid for the primary episodes of “The Ladies Subsequent Door” and had been advised they needed to signal renewal contracts on brief discover or E! would drop the present.
By this level, Madison felt as if she was signing a contract to be “in a relationship” with Hefner and the opposite ladies. She signed underneath duress, she says.
Marquardt describes how Hefner angrily cornered her within the bathe, shouting at her to signal. Shaken, she did so. “Crying and soaking moist,” Marquardt says.
In case you are a survivor of sexual assault, RAINN affords help by the Nationwide Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and on-line.rainn.org).
In case you or somebody could also be scuffling with self-harm or suicidal ideas, you may name the U.S. Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or evening, or chat on-line.