Secrets of Playboy (2022–2023): Season 1, Episode 1 - The Playboy Legacy - full transcript

Hugh Hefner sold himself as a champion of free speech who created the Playboy brand to set off a sexual revolution that would liberate men and women alike, but over the years he used Playboy to manipulate women to compete for his ...

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
- Take one. Mark.

We're ready.

- All right.
We ready to roll again?

- How's that?
- Good.

- I just wanted to make
a difference, you know?

I mean, I'm not doing this
for 15 minutes of fame.

I mean,
who'd want to throw themselves

under the train for that?

It's--I just want it to change
for women and young girls

to think twice about
what they're doing.

'cause there's always
gonna be a guy like hef

in the--in the wings.

- [sighs] some of these girls

don't want
to bring up those memories.

You know, there's a lot

that don't want to even
talk about it.

- [exhales]

- ready?

- No.
- No?

- Okay. Okay.

All right.

- Are you ready?

- I'm ready.

- I don't think we know

what hugh hefner's legacy
is yet, ultimately.

I don't think the dust
has even settled.

[dramatic music]

- we have some breaking news
for you tonight.

Playboy founder hugh hefner
has died at the age of 91.

Hefner changed america
when he introduced

"playboy" magazine
back in 1953.

- He changed the magazine

He changed the american sex
culture, if you will.

But that came
with some controversy.

- Hefner's legacy
is very confusing

because he sold women
a very seductive package

about sexual freedom

and what that means
in our culture.

And yet, there's a lot
of hypocrisy around that.

- He's like a cipher.
You can make him the devil.

You can make him

one of the most important
americans who ever lived.

You can say
he celebrated women.

You can say
he was a terrible sexist.

He is whatever
you want him to be.

- I don't think hefner
was a super moral individual.

- Hugh hefner
was a transactional man.

He was a businessman.

- I think he--I think he
was a monster.

- I could look at him,
and I saw the devil.

[engine revving]

- my name is hugh hefner.

I'm editor/publisher
of "playboy" magazine.

- When hugh hefner
was just 27,

he fashioned himself
and "playboy"

as the face
of sexual liberation.

- "playboy" is one of
the most famous

brand names in the world.

- I would like to be
remembered as somebody

who played some positive part

in changing the social,
sexual values of my time.

- I believe that hef pulled
one over on the whole world.

- The fantasy of "playboy"
that he created

did not allow for
the consent of the women.

- When it came to
hefner's buddies,

you had to keep
those secrets quiet.

- Whatever you got for free.
- [woman giggles]

- when you get someone
that powerful,

anything could happen.

- The people
who were really there,

they're the ones
who know the real truth.

- I want to be a voice
for the women

that suffered the most
at his hands.

[somber music]

♪ ♪

- I know. Time for breakfast.

♪ ♪

time for breakfast?

Who wants breakfast?

[dog barks]


My name
is jennifer saginor.

I grew up
at the playboy mansion.

Since hefner's death,

I'm noticing that people
that were close to "playboy"

are starting to suddenly
go back

and reevaluate
their experiences

and they're starting
to speak out.

It's taken me a long time
to sort of unravel

what I experienced growing up
and how it made me feel.

I had a sense of loyalty
to this inner sanctum,

to this inner circle that I
was initiated into very young.

I didn't want to break
that loyalty

because I knew there
would be serious consequences.

All right.

It was such a weird,
[bleep] up place.

But, I mean, the truth is that
growing up there as a kid,

it was magical.

I was six when I went there
for the first time.

When I was 11,

I basically started
living there part time.

My father was hefner's
best friend and doctor

for about 40 years and had
his own room there as well.

The mansion was like
a magical kingdom.

I could have anything
I wanted.

I mean, the game room
was unbelievable.

You know, I would literally
just take as many gumballs

and m&m's as I wanted.

In the morning, the butlers
would make my lunch

and I would get into
hef's limo and go to school.

And there was a zoo
on the mansion property.

All the playmates
would sort of watch over me.

And these girls became sort
of substitute mother figures.

Dorothy stratten
used to babysit me.

She was playmate of the year.

We used to always,
like, play dress up.

We used to just go like

on the tennis court.

So, for me, those connections
became everything.

I have so many happy memories
of myself with hef.

I remember sitting
on my father's knee

while he and hef
were playing backgammon.

We would play pinball
in the game room

and hef would let me
put my thumb on top of his.

It just made me
feel so special.

Like he was just such a very,
like, soft, comforting,

nurturing, sort of, like,
you know, paternal figure.

My most special memory
is christmas though.

I just remember like
frank sinatra

and the music
in the background

and the buffet table.

And it was just really
a sense of family.


there's something about it
that was very free, you know,

and like warm and comforting.

I just don't find that now.

I haven't found that
in any point in my life.

[somber music]

♪ ♪

- I am so thrilled to be
in this beautiful house

where you live,
the playboy mansion.

Tell me what this house
means to you.

- Well, first of all,
it's home.

I was born and raised,
as you know, in chicago

and have
a very lovely home there,

which was the original
playboy mansion.

But in 1971, I got this house.

And around '75, I just decided
to make the move.

It has been referred to by
some friends as shangri la.

The rumor is that
you don't get older

once you come
through the gates.

[moody music]

- I think all of us who were
part of the scene

at the playboy mansion,
there was an unwritten rule.

You left your troubles
at the gate.

♪ ♪

- you drive up this driveway
and the first thing you see

is this fountain
which was like a dolphin...

Being molested by a baby.

And then you pull up
to this great gothic house.

There's this big wooden door
that creaks open.

You know, there were signs
about "playmates at play"

and also, you know,
"careful about the monkeys."

I mean,
it was just like arriving

in the strangest xanadu.

- Every man
wanted to be there.

Every woman
wanted to be there.

The parties were extravagant.

If you open the wrong door,

you're gonna see a whole lot
more than you anticipated.

Even in the foliage sometimes.

- I mean, the parties,
the roller skating,

the tennis matches,

There was always something
going on that was for fun.

These are the things
that people don't understand

about the playboy mansion
or about hugh hefner.

They don't understand
what I call the innocent times.

- Oh, my god, I remember
that party--that's insane.

These are so fun,
these parties.

There was something in the air
that made you feel

that nobody was judging you.

And many of the women
truly enjoyed

not feeling so constricted
by our society.

You're free to be
whoever you want to be.

[chatter, dance music]

♪ ♪

- everything was so beautiful.

It was very glamorous.

And it was hef's world,
you know?

Hefner...Created it.

He molded it.
And he was king.

- Much of what playboy's
all about, really,

is a disneyland for adults,

a projection of those
adolescent dreams

and fantasies
that I had in growing up

that I've never really lost.

- Hugh hefner
was in his own world.

If you look at the photos,

he thought he was the king,
the emperor.

We were just servants.
Everybody else was invisible.

He didn't want
to know our names.

He just gave us directions.
We had to memorize them.

He drank around
35, 40 pepsis a day.

I had to wrap them
in a special red napkin

according to the instructions.

He ate mostly m&m's,

2 or 3 pounds a day,

and red licorice.

His condoms were stacked
in a certain place

in the headboard.

There were 150 rules.

We had to follow them exactly.

We were told,
"you cannot talk to the girls.

"you're not their friend.

You work for mr. Hefner.
You don't work for them."



- as a child,
I looked up to hefner

because he had
this big magic castle

and he was larger than life,
and he was charming,

and everybody loved him,

and he seemed very humble

and was very generous
and seemed like,

you know,
a really amazing person

who deserved these blessings.

♪ ♪

years later,
I started to realize

that everyone
in this environment

put hef on a pedestal.

And it wasn't genuine.

This was all like an illusion.

[dramatic music]

[moody music]

- everything you heard about
hefner and "playboy"

was exactly what his pr agency
wanted you to hear.

It was a very calculated
misrepresentation of the truth.

- Playboy became kind of
something more than

just a magazine for me.

It really was a projection
of a way of life

and, uh, what we now call
an alternate lifestyle,

if you will.

- The playboy philosophy
was like a manifesto.

For him, it was always
about individual freedom.

"I should be able to say
what I want

"as long as I'm not
hurting anybody.

"I should be able to
sleep with who I want

as long as
I'm not hurting anybody."

- the blueprint for "playboy"
can be traced

to his entire life
leading up to that point.

Hef was born
during the roaring '20s

and the jazz age.

His parents
were strict methodists,

and there wasn't a lot of
affection shown in the home.

He came out of the war,
got married.

- I think you've got
to find yourself

before you find
your lifelong mate.

- And looking around
at the repressive society

that existed in america
after world war ii,

he felt he had things to say.

- In 1953, hugh hefner
was 27 years old,

literally at a card table
with a little typewriter.

And he managed to pull together
the money

to launch
the first edition of "playboy,"

which they didn't even
put a date on it

because they weren't sure there
was gonna be a second edition.

Because they had
marilyn monroe on the cover

and marilyn monroe
on the inside,

the first issue sold all 50,000
copies immediately.

- By the 1970s,

"playboy" was selling
7 million copies a month.

- "playboy" was classy.
It was intoxicating.

There was naked women in there,
there was nudity.

But also it was
brilliant articles.

It was incisive philosophy.
It was leading the culture.

- I think the search
for a new ethical, you know,

set of moral values
based on something

other than simply rigid rules
set forth

many, many centuries ago

is something from which only
good can come.

- In the '50s and '60s,

"playboy" was instrumental
in advancing

the first amendment
and freedom of speech.

And the magazine
was able to pursue issues

and social concerns

that just weren't being
addressed in american society.

Look at civil rights.

- I knew all along

that hef was a champion
of civil rights,

because I read the magazine,

so I saw some of the people

that he had done articles

including malcolm x.

Then there were
the playboy clubs.

- So the first playboy club
opened in 1960,

which was, of course,
a time of

tremendous racial
segregation in this country.

- Hef did not believe
in segregation. He didn't.

At the playboy clubs,
there were black bunnies,

there were
black general managers.

This was the way it was.

- Hi, and welcome to
"playboy's penthouse."

sammy davis jr. Will
be here in a little while.

- "playboy's penthouse"
aired in 1959.

There were very strong
jim crow laws.

Whites were not allowed
to mingle with blacks

and vice versa.

And yet this hugh hefner
had the audacity

to let blacks come on
to his television show

and not just sing
and be whisked away.

- How long have you been
singing, tina?

- Well, personally, I've been
singing for nine years.

- No, he set
an egalitarian atmosphere

where blacks could
come and mingle.

Who else was doing that
but hugh hefner?

- As a child,
I definitely felt

that message of equality
at the mansion.

There was always
an air of acceptance.

Oh, my god. These are like
the disco parties

in the foyer,

where I used to watch
as a kid on the banister.

When I was around 10 or 11

and I had
my own bedroom there,

at night,
I would hear loud music,

and I would hear everyone down
below partying and having fun.

I would sneak out my bedroom
door and down the hallway

and hide behind the banister
and look below.

I would see
all these playmates

and women dressed
in these beautiful gowns

and sparkly outfits.

And I just couldn't wait
to be able to be older

and be down there
at the parties with them.

♪ ♪

I'd always heard
from a young age

that hef was someone
that was this big,

you know, feminist advocate

and an advocate
for women's rights.

- I think the primary aims
of women's lib,

the part that do not get
the publicity

and the tv and newspapers

are things
that "playboy" endorses

and has worked for
over the years.

- He used to say,
"even nice girls like sex.

They're allowed to like sex."

- as a little kid,
I was buying it that

these women were empowered
and walking around naked

and felt good
about their bodies

and the feminists
simply didn't get it.

- Hugh hefner is my enemy.


- with "playboy," there's
this entire conflict over,

"are the women expressing
themselves freely

or are they being exploited?"

as time went on, I saw
some of the inconsistencies.

I saw just all
the tremendous hypocrisy.

- Mr. Hefner,

you were picketed tonight
from women's liberation,

and they say
that "playboy" magazine

and this contest distort
the role of womanhood.

What's your response to that?

- We need more love
and more beauty in the world

that already has too much
hate and ugliness in it.

- I was surprised when,
in the '70s,

the feminists
were really attacking hef.

From the point of view of like
hefner, my father,

and the inner circle
of the boys club,

they were feeling
as if they were being attacked

for absolutely no reason,

that there was a witch hunt
going on against them.

- There's something wrong
when an attractive girl

can make more money
as a playboy bunny

or a cover girl
than anything else.

[cheers and applause]

- "playboy's" greatest critics
throughout its history

have been members
of the moral rights.

And, you know, what hugh hefner
would have described

as "radical feminists."

they opposed
the objectification of women

that was central
to "playboy's" existence.

- I'm more in sympathy
than perhaps, you know,

the girls realize with--

- women.
- Women.

- I'm sorry.
- Yes, I'm 35.

- Than the ladies realize.

I use girls referring
to women of all ages.

- You should stop.
- You want to be called a boy?

- Would you like to--
- oh, I see. Okay.



- I'd always felt
it was complimentary, but--

- that's because your magazine
is an image of women

at an arrested development.

- Well, let me--
[cheers and applause]

- on "the dick cavett show,"
hefner was there.

And there was a woman, she was
very, very angry and saying,

"how could you do this
to women?

How could you objectify women
in such a demeaning manner?"

you know, and he just sat
there just as cool as ice.

Hefner was classy.

was educated and refined.

So for me to align myself
with "playboy" magazine,

it was okay.

I was miss January 1973.
My photos were gorgeous.

And then I became director
of playmate promotions.

At that point in time,

I wasn't interested
in marriage.

But I was interested
in playboy enterprises,

because women were
taking their power.

They were in command
of themselves.

So I thought, "well, wow! Wow!
That's good to me."

and it went along
with the sexual revolution

that was going on.

I had a lot of power,
a lot of freedom.

It was freedom, you know?

- My bunny name
was bunny jaki.

And I started working
at playboy in 1967

for 11 1/2 years.

We definitely got paid well.

And I bought a car, and I
lived the way I wanted to.

We had more freedom than as
a secretary or as a teacher.

- It's 1981. I'm in chicago
as the bunny mother.

I had 70 bunnies underneath me.

We did a lot of things
to help rise these girls up.

And it was exciting to me
because I knew

that I could move up
the ladder in corporate.

- There were oftentimes
when I would be interviewed

by a strong feminist.

And she would come at me
really hard.

And I would just,
"mm-hmm. Yeah."

and I would answer
and let them know

that I was definitely
in charge of my life

and this was my choice.

Now, of course,
it came at a cost.

But at that moment in time,
I didn't know about that.

♪ ♪

- I didn't realize what was
going on at the time,

that "playboy" really wasn't
about freedom of expression.

This wasn't about, like,
female empowerment.

This was something
that was much deeper,

that was much more sinister.

At the mansion,
back in like the '70s

and the early '80s,
it was the women and the men.

The girls weren't allowed
to hang out with the men.

But I was allowed
to sit with them.

And I'd always see the men
looking at different

negatives of girls
from different shoots.

They would sort of quiz me
on how to critique a girl

that they would consider up
to their standards.

And so I would rattle off,
you know, what I knew

that they were looking for,
whether it was a size d,

which doctor
would do the boob job,

who would do the nose job,

what their entire physique
should look like,

and what size
everything should be.

For sure,
it was always size zero.

I was trained
how to view women

in the way that they did--

as commodities.

I mean, my father
used to tell me that I should,

you know, I had to watch it
'cause--you know,

'cause I could like
gain weight in my hips or--

he would definitely,
like, at a young age,

you know, go over our bodies
with us, with my sister and I.

That was of course

'cause I don't think
either one of us felt like

we measured up to what was
considered to be acceptable.

They even pushed me--
I got my own surgery.

- 15.

It was just awful.

♪ ♪

as I got older,

I would creep out
of my bedroom more and more.

I was just very curious

what was happening in all
the bedrooms down the hall.

And I would see
some of these girls

doing things
that I didn't recognize.

I would see them naked
with men all around them

and I would see them
on the floor on all fours

and they were on drugs.

And it--it just
really--it scared me.

The men were laughing.

And I just remembered thinking
I never want to be

like these girls running around
like they're animals.

I just--I never
want to be that.

This wasn't about
empowerment of women.

It was the breaking down
of a woman.

- Cody.

[moody music]

as a teenager,
I started to notice

that all the playmates

and hefner's
different girlfriends

were very open
with their sexuality.

And there was something
about it that drew me in.

It was a very open environment

of where love and sex
had very blurred lines.

So if you love someone,

it was you were supposed to be
more intimate with them,

I think, sexually.

You know, hef always would
kiss--which many people know,

he would kiss with
sort of his mouth open

in sort of like a french kiss
kind of a way.

And I always thought
it was sort of strange

that, you know,
someone that was sort of

was like my uncle
would kiss like that.

But then my father told me

that that's what people do
when they love each other.

- I think you're gonna have
very moral relationships

with more than one person
at the same time

or with a sequence of--

or continuing
series of relationships.

- Why was there so many girls?

Hef was the playboy
of the western world.

Why should he stop at one

when he could have
as many as he did?

He would say, "I want
to attract the young ladies

"who want to run with me
in my life.

I'm not gonna run with them
in their life."

♪ ♪

- back in the late '70s,
there was always

at least three
to four main girlfriends.

There was always one
that was the special one.

This is what they called them.

And those other girls

were always wanting to be
that special one.

- Tell me about
the real hugh hefner,

the one the rest of us
don't know.

- He's very sensitive.
He's very caring and giving.

- When I was 15,
I fell in love

with one of hugh hefner's
main girlfriends.

I'm gonna call her kendall.

I fell very hard
because I was so young.

- You know, jennifer
was incredibly infatuated

with, uh, with
mr. Hefner's girlfriend.

I mean, really infatuated
with her.

She was very sweet,
very innocent.

You know, she was innocent.
She was 15 or 16 years old.

- We, over time,
became very close

because she was someone
who ran away very young.

And because my father had
pulled me away from my mother,

I longed for that affection
that only a woman could give.

And kendall
was very affectionate.

I mean, one night,
she ordered like daiquiris.

And one thing led to another.

And I think she thought that
I had been with a girl before.

It really took away
the loneliness at that time.

- I served
mr. Hefner's girlfriend

and jennifer drinks in bed.

I said, "here are
your drinks, ladies."

I was very professional.
And they said,

"mitch, you know,
you can say hello, it's okay."

and I said, "I'm gonna go back
downstairs, ladies. Thank you."

the people that knew knew
that jennifer was underage.

I mean, I wanted to say
something to her.

But I--I held back.

It was something that
I didn't--I just didn't push.

- I didn't really think there
was anything necessarily wrong

with what I did.

You know, from my father
and hefner's point of view,

they really didn't care about
my having the affair

with his girlfriend.

He knew about the affair
from the beginning.

I mean, there's cameras

- A lot of the cameras,
you didn't even know

they were there,
but they were there.

And also security was carrying
cameras on their jackets.

So there's eyes everywhere.

- When I was 17,
I was called to hef's room.

I thought he was gonna
confront me about the affair.

I was just--I wanted
to see kendall so badly.

And she said the only way
we could see each other

is if you come to hef's room,
hef said.

One of her friends,
who's also a playmate,

walked me to his door.

And then she stopped me
and she's like, you know,

"I just want to tell you that
you don't have to do anything

that you don't want to do."

I was like, "what do you mean?"

and then I went in and then
hef ordered drinks.

And then we were
just sitting there.

And the energy
shifted in the room,

and I started feeling

I was still immature

even though I'd been exposed
to so many things.

So when I went in the room,

and he and kendall
were on the bed.

And I just thought
it was fun, at first.

I didn't really realize
what was about to happen.

I felt like, in that moment,
hefner crossed a boundary

because he'd always
looked at me

and treated me like
I was his daughter.

And here I was in his room

this uncomfortable energy

that I was no longer being
looked at as a daughter.

And then kendall
started crying.

And then she ran
into the bathroom.

And then he said, "well, now
we're not gonna do anything

'cause she's crying
or whatever."

and I was like, "yeah."
and my dad's down the hall.

And he's like, you know,
"we're all family here."

and then I left
and went back to my room.

- I don't think that she knew

what was really
going on up there

until she actually
experienced being up there.

And she got a--she got,

you know,
a crash course in doing that.

We're at the playboy mansion,
this is--this is--this is real,

this is some real [bleep].

[moody music]

♪ ♪

- all right, good boy.

♪ ♪

- growing up, it's like
I never wanted to go

against what my father or hef
or the environment taught me

was actually something
that was normal, I guess.

When I got to college

and I started
to integrate into society,

I didn't understand
how these rules

that I had learned
from a very young age

had nothing to do
with the outside world.

You know, I didn't really talk
about it a lot with people.

So writing it down was a way
for me to express myself.

- Joining me now
is jennifer saginor.

She grew up inside
the playboy mansion

and is the author
of the book "playground."

- "playground" was something
that I wrote about

to sort of work out
out my own issues

of what
I had seen and experienced.

I was always taught that it
was okay to speak your mind.

Yet I also knew that
a certain level of loyalty

went along with belonging
into this inner circle.

There was some level of fear

that there
would be repercussions

for breaking that loyalty.

And so I went out of my way
to betray hef

in a very, very positive

as someone who was
a father figure,

who I did look up to for many,
many years.

When my book came out,

I did a couple of interviews
in los angeles.

And hef called me and he said,

I heard that you wrote a book,

and I'm so proud of you."

he said, "but listen,
if you could just do me a favor

and not tell anybody

that I knew about
your affair with kendall."

he's like,
"I would just really appreciate

if we just kept
that between us."

he didn't want people knowing

that a minor
had an affair on his property.

And I was like, "sure.
You know, no problem."

he said,
"could you fax over a list

of your next interviews?"
and I said, "sure. Of course."

I went to new york, and then
literally, in succession,

the interviews were canceled,
like, one by one.

It was like something
out of a mafia movie.

- Well, I know what happened.

I know that he--that he had
someone in his office call

and contact those people
and stop those interviews.

♪ ♪

I was really crushed

'cause I no longer could,
you know, speak my truth.

It was just so hypocritical

because freedom of speech
and the first amendment

had been something
that he was an advocate for

his entire adult life.

And that made me, you know,

question who I thought
my father was

and who I thought hef was.

And I really thought these men
were larger than life.

They knew everybody,
they were so well connected,

and just, you know,
really just enlightened beings.

And I realized that this was
something much bigger

that he didn't want people to
know what was really going on.

- When I was
an editorial assistant

working for
the articles editor,

different books
would get vetted by him.

He was looking for things
in those books

that would hurt
hefner's reputation.

I read everything
that came through.

There's some things
that I read about

that never saw
the light of day.

- Over time, I realized

I was just one of the many
people who were silenced.

♪ ♪

- I worked in six clubs.
Every club had a scandal.

At least one if not many more.

I had to keep my mouth closed
if I wanted to keep my job.

There's a lot of
collateral damage

within the playboy
organization--a lot.

And the majority
of the collateral damage

is towards women.

- Things were done
to shush people up,

to get them out of the way.

- He wasn't worried
about the local l.A. Cops.

Many of these police worked
for him as security guards.

- Most of the security
officers that were hired

were ex-cops.

Some of them were l.A. Cops.

Some of them
were beverly hills cops.

Some of them were detectives.

So it was very--it was
very serious.

You gotta protect the mansion,
you gotta protect, you know,

especially, number one,
mr. Hefner.

- A lot of things were just
taken care of in his world.

The thing is he had tapes
on everybody.

- I have extensive electronic
equipment in the house,

which includes
videotape equipment.

And that does include cameras
so that

if I want to shoot pictures
of anything, I can, yes.

- Do you?
- Do I shoot pictures?

- I mean, what is it doing
in your bedroom?

- Sometimes things happen
in the bedroom

that I'd like to take--
- you're being coy.

Prim, I might add.
- We're on television.

- Every room, even outside
on the properties,

every place had microphones
and little cameras.

Many of the girls wanted
to tell you their problems,

and that made us
all very nervous.

We had to be very careful

because we know
we were being monitored.

- He lets the media into
all these parties on purpose

because usually they
end up doing something

they'll regret,

and he's got that on them,
so down the road,

if anything was gonna come out
negative about him,

he'd just say,
"I don't think so.

Remember this?"

and then all of a sudden
it goes away.

- It was cult-like.

The women had been groomed

and led to believe
they were part of this family.

And he really did believe
he owned these women.

We had playmates
that overdosed.

There were playmates
that committed suicide.

I really thought that
if I wrote a book,

maybe all of this stuff
would go away,

maybe it would stop.

Hefner even sent someone
to buy me off.

When you get someone that
powerful to be that fearful,

anything could happen.

I had a bodyguard.

I was that afraid.

- I got threatened.

"you're not gonna
put this book out.

"we can find you
anywhere you go.

You can't hide from us."
it was very frightening.


It's just a very clever
marketing ploy

that happens to work out very
well for me and the company.

- For the author.

[somber music]

- everybody knew that hefner
was a very powerful person.

No one believed anything
that a young girl would say

because you were a nobody.

And they were
the big somebodies with money,

with lawyers,
and you were shut down.

We would tell these stories
40 years ago

and people didn't believe it.

Bill cosby was there.
Oh, he's america's dad.

I mean, there's just--no one
would believe those women.

For years.

- It was a beautiful world,
and to him, beautiful girls,

beautiful people, beautiful
food, beautiful everything.

But it--it looked that way,
but it was ugly.

It was really ugly.

- This was built
to look like paradise.

But in reality, paradise
is not all it's made out to be.

- The lapd's investigating
a possible sexual assault

this weekend
at the playboy mansion,

home of hedonism
and hugh hefner.

- I have no doubt that terrible
things happened at the mansion.

Of course, it did.

It would be naive to say
it didn't.

But I think hefner
would have resented

being associated with it.

I think he would say he was
the cause of the good things

and then people
took it too far.

- There was various scandals

associated with "playboy"
over the years.

There was
bobbie arnstein's suicide.

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

there was dorothy stratten's

Her death was just so sad
and devastating and shocking.

There were other girls and
models and playmates who died,

but they just were things
that you never talked about.

All of these scandals
and whispers

about what happened at the
mansion and at playboy,

hef remained untouched
by any of it.

He was like teflon.
Nothing touched him.

[camera lenses snapping]

over time,
I started to realize

"playboy" was run as this
big marketing machine

where he was
in the center of it,

and if it started
to affect poorly on him,

it starts to affect
poorly on "playboy."

- this was a very
sophisticated structure

within playboy enterprises

that his own machinery
kept into place.

Everyone had a job
to keep hefner protected.

- They wanted to control
the narrative.

They wanted to control
how people viewed "playboy"

and how they viewed hef.

But the people
who were really there,

they're the ones who know
the real truth.

[uneasy music]

- his legacy should comprise
the whole story,

not just part of it
that he projected,

not his publicity machine

but from the women
who experienced him.

- It's time that the illusion
is broken.

There was a very dark,
dark side of "playboy"

that nobody wants to talk about

because they want to live
in that bubble.

- You know, when he passed
away three years ago,

I said to stefan, you know,
"maybe you should revive

the book now that
the metoo movement is here."

when it happened,
I thought, you know,

hefner missed by a month

of being
in the same seat as weinstein

and all those other
powerful men in hollywood.

- I'm ready now.
I'm empowered.

I'm empowered
to tell my story.

I'm not afraid
to speak up any longer.

♪ ♪

what I want to say
to hefner is

you destroyed a lot of lives.

You were power hungry.

You didn't care about
the lives of these women.

You didn't care what happened
to these girls.

It was all about what people

perceived about you, hefner.

And it was all a lie.