Secrets of Playboy (2022–2023): Season 1, Episode 2 - The Girl Next Door - full transcript

In the 2000s, Hugh Hefner reinvented himself and his brand through the runaway success of the reality show "Girls Next Door," starring his girlfriends Bridget Marquardt, Kendra Wilkinson, and number one girlfriend Holly Madison. T...

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All right. Let's get started.

Okay. Yeah,
I think I need to

fix my eyeliner
a little bit though.

Take two

It's really hard to separate
how the Playboy world

affected how I feel
about the way I look

and just
what's authentic to me.

People might think,
"Oh, you must have felt great

'cause you were on TV
and you were famous."

They think that I should
have known

exactly what
I was getting into.

Like, "Whoa, you're stepping
into a cult there."

But I absolutely did not.

In my early 20s,
I didn't realize

that getting into the Playboy
world was a dangerous choice.

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.

What have you got for free?

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.

♪ Come on-a my house

♪ To my house

♪ I'm gonna give you candy

♪ Hey

♪ Come on-a my house,
my house, a-come on ♪

This was the episode
where, when I saw it,

I thought I was so fat in it

because I always felt like
I had to watch,

like, every tiny little thing
about my appearance.

I was one of Hugh Hefner's
multiple girlfriends,

and I starred in a show called
"The Girls Next Door."

I feel like,
on "Girls Next Door,"

Hef was portrayed
as like a kindly grandpa.

That's not how he is.

It would make me so angry
how manipulative he was.

Hef controlled
every aspect of our life.

And after I left the Mansion,

I can't really explain to you

how strong the feeling
was in me

that I needed
to get my story out.

She has a new book out
that is making waves

and upsetting Hef.

It's called

Curious Adventures
and Cautionary Tales

of a Former Playboy Bunny."

You know, I think when
I came out with my story,

a lot of people were
really hostile toward it.

They would say, "Oh, you're
talking all this [bleep].

You were so happy there.
You loved being there."

Because so many people who are
part of that Playboy world,

they don't want anything

like that golden bubble
in their life.

I knew Hugh Hefner
for 44 years.

He was the one
that walked me down the aisle

when I got married to Joel.

I had 27 years
at the Mansion.

God love Holly, I hope
she has a wonderful life.

But what she did in her book
was a complete affront to Hef

and everything he stood for.

She seemed like
she really liked him,

that she really
cared about him.

I don't know why she would
write a book like that.

People want to villainize
women in these situations.

But I had so much belief
in myself before I met Hef.

And then it was just shattered.

I want people to know why
I felt like I couldn't leave

and why I chose to get in that
situation in the first place.

We Playmates have
the secret to happiness.

The secret that brings you

the world's most
beautiful women.

And their outrageous


Is this like a lamp
you rub or something?

No, it's Playboy.

Growing up,
they used to have,

believe it or not,
Playboy commercials on TV,

and they would show videos
of these women

and they were always,
like, so flattering.

And I was like, "Wow, I want
to look like that."

Ever since I was a kid,

I've had a really
difficult time

connecting with other people.

I grew up in a very,
very small town in Alaska,

basically, you know, living
in the woods at certain points.

Every couple years,
we would move,

I'd be introduced
to a new place.

I never really felt like
I fit in there.

I'm also not quite

which I was only
recently diagnosed.

Like, obviously, I've been
that way my whole life.

But a few years back,
my ex called my mom.

He was like,
"So I can't connect with her.

Like, what is wrong with her?
Blah, blah, blah."

And she was like,
"Well, you know,

I'm pretty sure
she has Asperger's."

And then
I'm like looking it up

and like talking to my doctor
about it.

I'm like,
"Oh, this is 100% me, 100%."

And I've just kind of
been looking back

and seeing everything
through that lens now.

And I think I was drawn
to try to be in the spotlight

because I felt like
if I could be famous,

that would be a shortcut

to feeling a connection
with people

because we feel connected
to celebrities.

I was very much attracted to
like the Anna Nicole Smiths,

who was a supermodel
at the time,

and the Jenny McCarthys

who was like
the It girl on MTV

and the Pamela Andersons
who was like--

she was the biggest TV star
at the time.

And kind of this
common denominator you notice

is they all started out
as Playmates.

It made a lot of sense
to infer that,

"Oh, if I start out at Playboy,

I could end up like that too
because they did."

The next time I encountered

anything from
the Playboy world

was when I moved to California,

I was working for
Hawaiian Tropic as a model.

Mark Saginor, Hef's
personal doctor at the time,

was at one of
the Hawaiian Tropic contests

and he extended an invitation
to a Playboy party

to all the women

I was really excited to go
because, at the time,

the Playboy parties
were really, really exclusive.

You saw celebrities

You saw Playmates you
recognized from the magazine.

And of course,
I saw Hef.

At that point, everybody was
giving him a ton of attention

because he was going out
to nightclubs

several times a week
with seven girlfriends.

- These are my girlfriends.
- Every one of them

is your girlfriend?
- Yes.

The image I got of Hef
and his girlfriends

was one of a revolving door.

The women would come in,
they would all get centerfolds.

Some of them would move on
to better things.

And it just seemed like
everyone was happy with that.

And then in summer of 2001,

I got invited to the pool
parties that they would have

on Sundays
at the Playboy Mansion,

and I just saw this really
wholesome atmosphere.

It was really surprising.

The whole social circle
at the Mansion

just seemed like such a happy
little family of friends.

So for somebody
who has a horrible time

connecting with other people

to kind of
fall into this place

that feels like
a little community instantly

is very attractive.

On Sundays, she would sit
there two or three chairs down

from where
we would play backgammon.

I remember her talking
to Alison and asking her,

"How do I become a girlfriend?"

Hef really didn't, like,
pick her out.

She basically, you know,
came to him.

I wasn't physically
attracted to Hef,

but I did find him
very charming.

And I feel like
one of the reasons I was

so able to buy into being able
to have this relationship

with an older person
is I thought,

"Well, I never like connected
with guys my own age.

"So maybe this is
what's meant to happen.

Maybe this is a better fit."

And in the amount of time
I was going to parties there,

which is about a year's
worth of time,

it was made obvious to me
that I could join the group

anytime I wanted through
some of the other women.

And of course, all the girls
behind the scenes were saying

they didn't really sleep
with him

and it's just all publicity.

And I felt like that
was probably the case.

- Does he bang any of them?
- Um... I don't know.

You don't know?

I thought living at the
Mansion would be very cozy.

I felt like it would be

this really one-of-a-kind
amazing sorority.

People always want to point
to the money and the luxury

and--you know, that was fine.

But what really attracted me

was the sense
of having a community

and a support system.

And people don't recognize
how alluring that can be.

The first night I went out
with Hef and the girls,

I just kind of had it
in my mind that,

you know,
I was gonna see what happened,

and if I wasn't
comfortable with it,

I didn't have to do anything.

You know, we went out
to a nightclub.

I was sitting next to Hef,
and he leaned over

and he asked me
if I wanted to take a Quaalude.

I said something like,
"No, I don't do drugs."

And he goes, "Yeah,
I typically don't either.

"But, you know,
they used to call these

thigh openers in the '70s."

I just thought
it was really weird.

That night, I drank a lot
'cause I was nervous.

Back at the house,

after I ended up
going upstairs with them...

I don't really wanna
talk about it.

There was definitely no,

like, romance or seduction

or anything like that.

It was dark in the room.

But there was a giant movie
screen of porn

in front of the bed.

He was in the middle
of the bed.

And then the women
were surrounding him,

but they're all backlit.

I'd never had casual sex
with anybody before.

I feel like
I was kind of really asexual.

So maybe I just
wasn't ready for that?

It was all very mechanical
and robotic,

and you would kind of follow
the other women's lead.

And it was really gross to me

how Hef didn't wanna use
use protection.

The impact it had on me
was so heavy.

I never expected to be

the first person
to have sex that night

or to be like pushed into it.

The next morning,

I definitely felt humiliated
by the experience.

But in the beginning,
even after that night,

like, I still had this idea
and this fantasy of, like,

all of us
being like sorority sisters

and we're all gonna get along.

I think sometimes when
you're not in control at all,

you can lean into
a bad situation more

because you're almost
fooling yourself

by thinking you are in control.

I think it's a trauma response.

So I decided to move
into the Mansion.

Obviously, I told people,
'cause I moved,

and I was just shocked
at how everyone reacted.

When you say you're like dating
Hugh Hefner or whatever,

people assume you're getting
a money exchange for sex

and they want to put you
in a corner

and, you know,
call you a hooker or whatever.

So I know there's
that judgement out there.

And I just immediately
felt dirty

and like I would be judged
for the rest of my life

for making this decision.

And I never thought of it
that way at all.

I thought of myself
as involved with one man.

I did enjoy
living at his house,

but it wasn't in a direct
exchange of money for sex

or anything like that.

I don't look down
on sex workers.

But it does bug me that people
want to put me in that corner

because I don't feel like

I was even making
that decision, really.

I had unintentionally branded
myself by moving in there.

And if I thought
my life was hard before,

it was gonna be
really hard if I left.

And it made me
just want to, like,

turn the situation
right somehow.

And I didn't know
how to do that.

♪ We may be wrong but

♪ We think
you're wonderful ♪

At the Mansion,
the indoctrination, I feel,

starts almost immediately
when you're there

and you start hearing
about how wonderful Hef is

from his circle of friends.

Hef provided
a stunning environment.

He was a loving, decent,
wonderful man,

incredible friend.

He is such a great man

with such a great personality,

and everyone was drawn to him.

Hef was a gracious man.

And he loved women.

He loved them.

He treated women with love

and honor and respect.

And I think that Hef
always was a romanticist.

I'm a romantic fool.

I mean, I was raised
in that impossible world

where the words of the songs
are true.

And the romantic songs,
the Cole Porter

and the--you know,
the Gershwin.

So in the beginning,

Hef is what you would now
call a love bomber.

He's somebody who tells you
I love you almost immediately.

He was always telling me,
you know, how special I was

and you're so giving
for your age.

And, you know,
he really made me feel like

I was special and rare.

You had no idea
you were being brainwashed.

Now that's a little girl
in love.

I was in heaven.

I was Hef's girlfriend
in the '70s

and early '80s for five years.

He liked the old movies,

and it's like
he would become a character

and do the romantic things
he saw in the movies.

You know,
he'd take me in his arms,

and we'd dance around
the game room.

And he said,
"You're the first girl

I've liked enough to consider
having a baby with."

That was his romantic way.

And people supported it.

The secretaries or whatever--
they manipulated the girls.

They--they spoke highly of him.

He comes off, you know,
caring and generous,

especially when you see him
in that atmosphere

because he's providing this
good time for all his friends.

And, you know,
they glow about him.

And you just start to build
this picture in your head

of somebody
who can really do no wrong.

And now, looking back,
on my time at Playboy,

it reminds me of a cult.

The reason I think
the Mansion was very cultlike,

looking back on it,

is because we were all

kind of gaslit

and expected to think of Hef
as like this really good guy.

And you started to feel like,
"Oh, he's not

what they say in the media.
He's just a nice man."

Another thing that reminds me
of a cult is how it was so...

easy to get isolated
from the outside world there.

You had a 9:00 curfew.

You were encouraged
to not have friends over.

You weren't really
allowed to leave

unless it was like
a family holiday.

Are there are rules like can
you have boyfriends at all?

- No.
- No.

- You're not allowed to?
- Hef is our boyfriend.

How do you know when you're
called to the master bedroom?

Do you have nights?

The sex always happened
kind of like the same time

the same night.

We would go out to a club
every Wednesday and Friday,

and that would be expected
when we got home.

I kept my waitressing job
at just like one day a week

because I wanted just to have
something easy to go back to

should things not work out.

And he said it made him jealous

and he would appreciate it
if I quit my job.

So instead, we were given
$1,000 a week as an allowance.

I know for a fact the rules
she had to follow were true.

You're imprisoned
in that Playboy, like,

you can't do
your own thing 100%.

When Hefner was married
to Kimberley,

I'd invited Kimberley
to a Sunday lunch at my house,

but she was not really allowed
out of the Mansion.

So she arrived
with a bodyguard

who was constantly on
his telephone to Mr. Hefner.

"She's going up the stairs.
She's gone to the loo."

And I was like,
"Is this a joke?"

And she's like, "No, this
is--this is how it is."

I think in the very early
first few months

that I was there,

even though not everything
was to my liking,

I felt like I hadn't given the
situation enough of a chance.

Love, love, love!

So I tried really hard
to follow all the rules.

Welcome to the Playboy Mansion.

I'm Holly, and I'm here
to give you a tour.

Come on with me.
I'll show you the game house.

I saw Holly try very hard

to be like the lady
of the Mansion.

Every little boy's fantasy,

a house devoted
entirely to games.

We have old video games,
new ones.

She really tried to get into
the things that Hef got into.

They had movie nights

on Friday,
Saturday, and Sunday.


"Gone with the Wind."

She'd be there, and she'd be
very sweet to everybody.

One thing about me that was
different from the other women

who lived there was
I was really quiet.

I just liked to stay in,

and I loved watching
the old movies

that Hef showed on Friday
and Saturdays.

I liked going down
to the buffet dinners

and chatting with his friends

or listening to them talk
or whatever.

The other girls,
they were just there to party

and have a good time.

Holly was there to be
a real presence

in the Playboy Mansion.

Holly just cared about Hef.

She was there
to look after him.

She was a good hostess
to his guests.

I thought
she was right for him.

Within the first few months,
I went from being new

to being like
Hef's main girlfriend.

I wasn't into the multiple
girlfriend thing.

It's not about them.
It's just about

I would obviously rather be
in a relationship

where it's just me
and one other person.

I was expected to order
his drinks for him

and like always stand
next to him in pictures

and to move into his room.

Now, what is it about Holly?

Well, I think,
despite the age disparity,

I think she's an old soul.

I think we have
very common interests

in terms of the way
we enjoy spending our time.

She loves old classic films,

she loves the same kind
of music I love.

I think what switched for me

was when Hef started using me
as a tool and saying,

"Well, why can't you
just behave like Holly?

"Why can't you just show up
to all the movies?

Why can't you do this
like her?"

Then everybody hated me.

One of the girlfriends

started working as a liaison
for this escort service.

And she started
trying to recruit

all the other girlfriends.

When she was found out,

she thought it was me
who told on her, and it wasn't.

And I remember I had the flu

and I was laying down
in Hef's room.

He was downstairs somewhere.

And she like comes up the bed
screaming in my face,

and I like can barely move,

so it's kind of like
a scary situation.

And I kind of had a breakdown

because I thought
she was gonna hit me,

and like I have to live
with these people.

So I was completely isolated
until Bridget came along.

Bridget, how did you
come aboard?

Um, I came to the Mansion
pursuing to be in the magazine.

I really wanted to be
a Playmate

and started going out
as the big party posse.

I think that Holly
and I bonded because

I was very clear about
not wanting her position.

Some of the girlfriends would
have liked to take that spot.

They wanna just like
still break all the rules

but still get all the perks.

I knew that Holly
would want a life

without all
the extra girlfriends.

In five years from today,
Holly, what are you doing?

Um, I wanna be married,
have kids,

and still be working
at Playboy.

- With Hef?
- Yeah.

I think I definitely thought
I was in love with Hef,

but it was
very Stockholm syndrome.

Very Stockholm syndrome.

So Stockholm syndrome is when
somebody starts to identify

with somebody who is
their captor in some way.

And I feel like I did that
with Hef 100%.

Like, I never blamed him for
any of the drama that went on.

I always blamed it
on the other women, you know.

Hef was innocent in my eyes.

And then later, one of
the girls was telling me

how Hef always
pits the main girlfriend

against the other girls.

This situation was going on
for years before I came along.

- What do you see?
- Patty and Laura.

This must have been
the Playmate party.

And that's when I met
all these girls.

And they were very,
very mean to me at this point.

When I was Hef's girlfriend,
every girl wanted my position.

See, all the girls
wanted to be in my shoes.

They wanted to be the girl
walking down the path with him,

sitting next to him.

He would pit us
against each other.

You know, there was always
a little tiff

going with different girls.

And, you know, if everybody was
a little unsure of themselves,

then he could have his way.

It was like we were
in this competition.

And when I look at somebody

struggling to create
all this drama amongst people

so he can feel like people
are fighting over him,

I'm like, "What hole are you
trying to fill?"

My name is Richard Bann,

and I was lucky enough
to meet Hugh Hefner in 1990.

And I knew him as one
of his closest personal friends

until he died.

As a kid, he was uncomfortable
approaching young ladies.

And he didn't always succeed.

In high school,

he was gonna invite
Betty Conklin to a hayride.

And she rejected him.

She went instead
with one of his close friends.

This was a watershed event
in his life.

What he did
was he reinvented himself.

He changed his wardrobe,
he changed the way he spoke

in hopes
of being able to attract

someone like Betty Conklin.

I'm a rebel.

A man ought to work hard
and play hard too

because you only get one time
around in this old world,

and if you don't make
the most of it,

you've got no one
to blame but yourself.

Betty Conklin represented

the "Citizen Kane" Rosebud
of his life.

She was the template
for the girl next door.

Hef created "Playboy" magazine
and this whole empire

to work out
the failed relationship

he had with Betty Conklin.

With Hef, I don't really know
what's true or what's not.

He would tell people
in the media

and, of course,
they loved to run with that

as like the moment
that changed everything.

But it's not just a girl
invited somebody else

to a hayride in high school.

The way he treats people,

there's gotta be something
more going on

under the surface.

There's got to be
something darker.

Because when I was there,

I felt like he wanted
to have control over me

and the other women
who were there.

Hef wanted to know,

"How does somebody
control somebody?"

When we first started dating
in the late '70s,

he was fascinated and obsessed
with Charles Manson.

Couldn't talk enough
about him.

How does this guy
have these women

that have been in jail
for how many years

and when they have a chance
to get out,

they're still adoring him,

and they will
till the day they die.

And Hef liked that.

In Hef's film collection,

he even had
the Manson family "home videos"

made before the murders,

the girls with guns
and knives out at the ranch.

You have to know it so that

you could pick it up
any second and shoot.

There were so many

the way the girls
followed everything he said,

and we were all
one big happy family.

He would say things like,

"If you can get along
with everybody,

we can be together forever."

That's how he reeled me in.
I wasn't gay.

But he would whisper in my ear,
you know, "Go talk to her.

Go talk to her and see
if she wants to party."

Finally, one day,
I just, "Oh, geez!

Okay. I'll try it once."

Yeah. Yeah.

He was happy.

That was exactly
what he had asked for so long.

But also, that wasn't enough.

He had to have more
and more and more.

It just got ugly

because I felt like
I was a ringmaster.

I felt like I had to put
the show on every night.

And it's the same script.

"Welcome to the family.
We're embracing you."

It was all a lie.

I watched girl after girl
after girl show up,

fresh face, adorable,
and then...

their beauty just washed away.

They were tired.

I saw clearly that
we were nothing to him.

Hugh went through decades
of young girls, decades.

He said to me,
"What I do is

I find somebody
whose looks I like,

that I'm really attracted to,
for all the obvious reasons,

and then I project onto them
whatever it is I want to see

and I block out
everything else."

By the early 2000s,

the girlfriends were always
these interchangeable,

replaceable sex objects
to Hefner.

I think it probably
gave him a feeling

of being more in control
if we all looked identical.

How do you tell
each other apart?

'Cause y'all have the same
kind of blonde hair.


The plastic surgery
amongst the girlfriends

in the Mansion was compulsive.

Everybody was doing it
with very few exceptions.

I remember being made to feel

like I needed to look
exactly like everybody else.

When I asked him if I could
ever test for Playmate,

he said I'm just not
photogenic enough.

So of course, what that does
to you is it makes you wonder,

"Wow, what's wrong with me?

Like, what do I need
to get fixed?"

Holly, she was getting her
nose done and her this done

and--you know,
she wanted all this stuff done

and so he paid for it.

I've always been
very honest about it.

I've had my boobs
and my nose done.

I got to a point not too far
into my time there--

I think I was only like
six months in--

where I kind of broke
under that pressure

and being made to feel
like I needed to look

exactly like everybody else.

My hair was really
long naturally,

and I was just like,
"I'm gonna go chop my hair off

so I can at least look
a little different."

♪ Happy birthday to you

I came back with short hair,

and he flipped out on me.

And he was screaming at me

and said it made me
look old, hard, and cheap.

I remember
when she cut her hair.

He was very unhappy about it.

Yeah, his world.

Hef would be pretty abrasive

in the way
he said things to Holly.

She came down
with red lipstick one time

and he like flipped out

and said he hated
red lipstick on girls,

needed to take it off
right away,

even though other people
could wear red lipstick

and it didn't seem
to bother him.

I could definitely see that she
was getting depressed and sad

and her demeanor
was starting to change.

I felt like I was just
in this cycle of gross things,

and I didn't know what to do.

You know, over the years,
I knew a lot of girlfriends.

You know who's there for Hef
and who's there just because

they want a place to stay
and a little money every week.

And, you know,
you just get to a point

where you know who's who.

And what's funny with Holly,

she never let on
if she was unhappy.

You're in a relationship
with Hugh Hefner

inside the Playboy Mansion.

You signed up for that journey,

and you knew you signed up
for that journey.

If you're not happy,
pack up your stuff and go.

Like you could have
walked out the door any time.

His friends were always
so supportive

and just speaking
so highly of him.

But that's the only side
of him they ever saw.

They had no idea what was
going on behind closed doors

and how the women were treated.

When I lived at the Mansion,
I was afraid to leave.

Something that was
always lingering

in the back of my mind,
I think,

since the very beginning
was that if I left,

there was just this mountain
of revenge porn

just waiting to come out.

When you would go out
with Hef,

he's taking all kinds of
naked pictures of these women

when we're wasted
out of our minds.

And he would print out, like,

eight copies for him
and all the women.

You would pass them around,
and it's just gross.

I drank pretty heavily
every night we went out.

It was my way of coping
with the situation

after we got back home.

The other girlfriends
would always try

and bring other girls home
from nightclubs

and get other girls
to come upstairs.

And I wasn't into that.

The drama between me and
the other women became so bad.

Like, imagine having sex
with somebody

in a room full of women
who all hate you

and you know they're all
talking about you.

And there was a point
where I just felt really low.

Like, I didn't feel like
I had any options.

I remember there was a point
in time a couple years in,

after we had gone out

and after
we'd all been in the bedroom,

everybody's leaving
and walking out,

and I was in the bathtub,

and I just wanted
to drown myself.

I just felt like I was
in this cycle of misery.

And, you know, those feelings
would never last long.

But you have
those moments like,

"What did I gain
from this experience?"

You know? I knew
there would be something.

I always had that faith
that there would be something

that would make it worth it.

These are so sexy.
I love 'em.

Yeah, I think you got
a lotta good stuff.

The first season of "Girls
Next Door" came out in 2005,

and it wasn't a perfect
experience by any means,

but it totally saved my life.

Come on, honey.
Jump in.

"The Girls Next Door"
happened at a time

when Playboy had lost its feet.

The Internet,
celebrity culture,

all these things--
it was like an earthquake

and Hef was trying
to figure out,

"Well, how do we
stay relevant?"

Hef's documentarian friend

did all kinds of personality
interviews with everybody,

including us three girls.

Here we go!

And someone at E!
said, "That's my show.

I wanna see the Mansion

through the eyes
of those three girls."

"The Girls Next Door"
show did a lot

for the Playboy brand.

We knew there would be
some interest

because it was
the Playboy Mansion.

What I did not anticipate

was how hugely popular
it would become

and particularly how hugely
popular with young women.

The show gave me confidence.

It gave me a sense of purpose.

The contrast between like the
first 3 years I lived there

and like the last 3 1/2 years,
it was--it was night and day.

I can see myself
getting my self-esteem back.

I had a job at the Playboy
Studio for the show,

and I ended up
really loving it.

I seemed like I'm on my way
to being a little more normal,

like a little more
of a functional human.

It felt great to be able
to make the show.

It really was a lot of fun.

I was excited
when I finally got a chance

to be in the magazine.

But we weren't paid for
the first order of episodes

for "The Girls Next Door."

They made it very clear to us

that if we didn't wanna do it,

there would be
a million girls

that would wanna
take our place.

Eventually, we did get paid.

But we were told one day that
we needed to sign contracts

and we needed
to sign them that day

or E! wasn't going
to renew the show,

which I just didn't want
to sign a contract

that, in essence,
was signing a contract

to be in a relationship,
since the show

was about three girls
he was dating.

That felt very
prostitute-ish to me.

I was in the shower,
and all of a sudden,

Hef is standing there,

and he opens up
the shower door,

and he's like, "Why aren't
you signing this contract?!

I need you to sign
this contract!"

So we all signed it.

But I consider
that signing under duress.

I signed the contract,
crying and soaking wet.


I always find
the perfect card.

"Still the one I love
to catch myself dreaming about.

"Still the one I love
to talk things over with.

Still the one--"

Huh? You don't want me
to read it?

- No.
- Oh--aw!

Oh, no, I was embarrassed
and stressed.

Like, he's reading
this card aloud that I got him,

and I just feel stupid

because, like,
what even is this?

Like I'm supposed to be filming
like this romantic scene,

but he's, like,
dating other people.

The show was doing a lot for me
both for my self-esteem

and just as far
as other opportunities

that would come to be later.

But I wasn't really
seeing that.

I still felt like I was very
stuck in the same situation.

Hef was definitely very needy
of Holly's time,

and he always wanted her
next to him.

For instance, I remember
we went to this event

on the "Queen Mary."

We were filming
"Girls Next Door."

We got Hef to spend the night
on the "Queen Mary,"

and we were so excited.

And we were gonna go
run around the ship

in our pajamas,
and so we were like,

"Oh, Holly,
you have to come with us."

And he told her no,
she couldn't go

and like grabbed her hair.

She was like leaning down,
and he like pulled her hair

was like,
"No. You're not going."

She needed to be there
with him,

otherwise, he would have
been alone in his room.

And that wouldn't have been
okay with him.

In 2008, my last year there,
the other girls were leaving.

It looked like it was
just going to be me.

I finally thought I had got

what I wanted
out of this situation

and was finally like in
this committed relationship.

But during that time period,
he started

getting even meaner.

One day, I had all these
messages from Holly

that her and Hef
had an altercation

downstairs during dinner,
and she got up to walk away

and he said,
"Quit being such a bitch."

But not bitch. The C word.
Which I hate that word.

So I don't even wanna say it.
Sounds so ugly.

And that's it. She was done.

At that point, there were
no women to pit me against.

There was none of that left.

And that's when I had
the realization and I was like,

"Whoa, he's been the problem
the whole time."

I had been locked into
the mentality of the Mansion

and had felt like

there's no other
future for me outside.

But I finally saw him
for who he was,

and I had to go.

I just felt it so strongly
that I had to leave.

The time at Playboy
really caused some damage.

I've had different types of
therapy and stuff since I left.

Other than some of
the animals in the zoo,

I can't really think
of anything I miss.

When I decided to leave,
it was pretty sudden.

So I wouldn't say it was
so much that I had a plan.

I just had more
to fall back on.

Like I'd been really careful
with my money

and making investments

And I knew that there was
at least a fan base

for "The Girls Next Door."

So maybe I could turn
that into something.

And it worked out really well.
I did my own TV show.

I'm out on my own
in Las Vegas.

I star in a really awesome
burlesque show

called "Peepshow"
at Planet Hollywood,

had kids, got married,

basically did everything
I wanted to do.

But every single day
of my life,

I would have a stranger
approach me

and ask, "How's Hef?"

And I would always say,
"Oh, he's good. He's great."

I really started
to feel terrible about it

and like I was living a lie.

And after my book came out,

no one ever came up to me again
and asked how's Hef?

My book wasn't motivated
by money at all.

It wasn't motivated
by revenge.

I knew he was in a place

where he didn't really
answer to anyone.

He wasn't necessarily
cancelable, so to speak.

It was strictly for me

so I wouldn't feel bound
to be living this lie

where I constantly
have to say things were great

when I was there
when they weren't.

What I love about my book

is I feel some people
are finding it

and they read it and they
recognize parallel situations

in emotionally
abusive relationships

that they might be in.

I've heard a lot of feedback
like that.

And I love it that people are
talking about abuses of power

and imbalances
in relationships.

And I hope that helps
some people.

We are currently in an era

where we're breaking down
that wall of misogyny.

Hef was able to control women

under the disguise
of his money and power.

Yeah, for sure.

Holly Madison got money,
got fame,

got everything she wanted.

So I'm worried that Holly will
just cause a lot of eyerolling

and therefore people won't
really take this seriously.

When Holly
was his girlfriend,

he was old by then.

Hef was a lot younger
when I started dating him.

My experiences with him
got pretty scary at times.

We love you, Hef!

Didn't matter how many
people you brought in--

it would only satisfy him
for the moment

and then he'd have to find
something bigger,

better, naughtier.

He was like a vampire.

He sucked the life out of all
these young girls for decades.

If those rocks could talk,
the tales they would tell.

I know some really
deep dark secrets.

I can't give this up.

And now we're speaking up.
It's all gonna come out.

I think everybody had that
desire to be a Playboy Bunny.

There was a style

that the Playboy Bunnies had.

When you put on
that costume,

you thought
you were protected.

But Bunnies were easy prey.

Everything wasn't lights,
camera, action, happy.

I think about those girls
that were muffled, discarded.

There were many young women
that were assaulted,

that were silenced.

That's how it worked
with Playboy.

You open your mouth,
you're outta here.