Hugh Hefner, founder and editor-in-chief of the Playboy magazine died today at age 91, leaving a controversial legacy behind. World over, fans of the Playboy Magazine are celebrating the ‘original playboy’ dismissing or perhaps deliberately glossing over the various allegations leveled at the businessman. Hugh Hefner’s life has never been a secret, with his social media accounts seeking to glorify an establishment that thrived on promiscuity, drug-fueled parties and voyeurism. Much has been written over the years about his twisted sexual interests and the infamously famous Playboy Mansion where Hefner lived with ‘Playmates’ and ‘Playboy bunnies’.
Over recent years, several former Playmates have come out and shared horrific stories of ‘forced sexual acts’. Hugh Hefner – celebrated by some as one of the supporters of women empowerment – exploited women for his personal, professional and sexual gain.
Way too many have alleged that Hefner took advantage of women, sexually exploited them and objectified them. Hefner, once ‘dated’ Girls Next Door (Hefner’s own show) star Holly Madison, who opened a can of worms with her revelations about Hefner and Playmates’ lives inside the mansion and otherwise. There were also others, like Jennifer Saginor, Hugh Hefner’s doctor’s daughter, who recounted her childhood experiences inside the Playboy Mansion in her book.
Here are 8 major controversies that surrounded the life of the Playboy founder:
1. In her book, Playground: A Childhood Lost Inside the Playboy Mansion, Jennifer Saginor revealed that the Playboy ‘bunnies’ “would be told to sleep together, even if they weren’t bisexual.” They also had to stay slim, blonde, tanned – they “were required to dress a certain way. Hef decided who they could speak to.”
2. On Hugh’s many ‘girlfriends’, Jennifer wrote: “It’s glorified escorting. The girls become so brainwashed, you don’t remember who you used to be.”
3. Holly Madison, wrote in her memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole, how Hefner was a misogynist and used to treat her in a condescending manner, as she recounts, “During movie nights” — which were scheduled to occur three nights out of the week at the mansion — “he would lean over to me to explain the plotlines and time periods in the most condescending of ways.”
4. She also revealed that Hefner offered her quaaludes (a drug that causes drowsiness) on her first night out with him and when she refused, Hef replied saying, “Usually I don’t approve of drugs, but you know, in the ’70s they used to call these pills ‘thigh openers.'”
According to Jennifer Saginor also, drugs such as quaaludes (which Hefner described as ‘thigh opener), Viagra, anti-depressants were regularly supplied.
5. Holly Madison further recounts her ordeal and ridiculous life inside the Playboy mansion as she says, “Maybe it was the pot and the alcohol, but drowning myself seemed like the logical way to escape the ridiculous life I was leading.”
6. In an interview to a leading daily, another Playboy Mansion resident, Melissa Howe shared how if a Playmate broke the rules, they would get an email about the strict code of conduct. She added, “There’s a strict code of conduct. There are even rules about Instagram and Twitter. You’ve got to show everything in a good light and if you’re drunk in a picture you’ll be in trouble.”
7. Both Carla Howe and Holly Madison spoke about the ridiculous ‘curfew timings’ and all the girlfriends were required to be inside the mansion before 9 pm.
8. Jennifer Saginor also revealed how Hugh Hefner’s kids with his second wife, Cooper and Marston – who were then aged 10 and nine (!!) – were apparently made to share a room with one of the playmates.