15 Feb 2024

Crystal Hefner on her marriage to Hugh and being ‘trapped’ in the Playboy Mansion

Crystal Hefner was 21 when she first entered the infamous Playboy Mansion in October 2008. Within months, she ascended its hierarchy to become the top girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, who was 60 years her senior, and went on to marry him in 2012.

But she quickly discovered the house was not the glittering sanctuary she had believed, nor Mr Hefner’s Playboy was the place of freedom, expression and empowerment it professed itself to be. Crystal only left the Mansion when Hefner died, aged 91, in 2017.

Having made a promise to the Playboy tycoon to ‘only say good things’ about him, for years Crystal suppressed the truth of what really happened behind closed doors at the Mansion, and the lasting trauma it caused her. Now she’s written a book, ‘Only Say Good Things’, about her experiences.

In this episode of Ways to Change the World, she tells Krishnan Guru-Murthy about life at the Playboy Mansion as one of Hugh’s three live-in girlfriends, how he made her ‘feel small and afraid for so long’, and why she’s finally decided to speak out.

Produced by Silvia Maresca.

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