It was sold as a world of glitz and glamour filled with beautiful women, but according to one of Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriends it quickly turned into an ugly nightmare.
When Holly Madison went to live rent-free at the Playboy Mansion, she naively didn’t realise there was going to be another price to pay: sex with Hugh Hefner.
Now 41, the aspiring model‘s early-20s dream of glamour quickly turned into an ugly nightmare – where she claims she was cut off from the outside world and strictly controlled.
Madison, who was with Hefner between 2001 and 2008, published an explosive memoir about her time with him and Playboy called Down the Rabbit Hole in 2015.
Now a TV adaptation of the book is in the works with Home And Away star Samara Weaving signed on to play Madison.
The series will dramatise what Madison saw going on behind the gates of the Playboy Mansion – where young women were given drugs and encouraged to take part in twice-weekly orgies with Hefner.
RELATED: Playboy Mansion now derelict
“They knew it was kind of a quote-unquote requirement for living there, and expected,” Madison told Buzzfeed News.
“And it had kind of a chore vibe, I felt.”
Here‘s what Madison went through as the number one girlfriend in Hefner’s harem.
GROUP SEX AND ‘THIGH OPENER’ PILLS
What started as a party soon became like prison for Madison.
She was just 20 and still at university when she met a friend of Hefner‘s while working as a waitress at Hooters.
The friend invited her to a party at the Playboy Mansion – she thought it would be a one-time thing, but soon found herself going to its Sunday pool parties every week.
After a year, she decided to try and become one of Hefner‘s girlfriends in order to continue living in Los Angeles.
She thought none of them actually had sex with the ageing porn mogul, who was then in his mid-70s.
But she quickly lost any illusions during her first “Club Night” out with Hefner and the other girlfriends when he offered her a Quaalude, telling her: ”in the ‘70s they used to call these pills ’thigh openers.’”
RELATED: Hugh Hefner dead at 91
She refused the drugs – but couldn‘t refuse later at the mansion when she was told it was time to go to Hefner’s bedroom.
There, the women were expected to perform for him, and one of the other girlfriends pushed Madison towards Hefner.
“There was zero intimacy involved. No kissing, nothing,” Madison wrote.
“It was so brief that I can‘t even recall what it felt like beyond having a heavy body on top of mine.”
Madison soon realised the orgies happened like clockwork after the Club Nights, every Wednesday and Friday.
PUSHED TO THE BRINK
It wasn‘t just sex that was regulated – Madison soon found she was being controlled in other ways too.
She had to abide by a strict 9pm curfew and she was made to give up her waitressing job, cutting her off from the outside world.
Hefner would also make cruel comments about her appearance and he refused to let her see a therapist when she became depressed.
Madison says the situation became so desperate she considered ending her life.
“Drowning myself seemed like a logical way to escape the ridiculous life I was leading,” she wrote.
“I just couldn‘t take my misery anymore.”
The situation began to improve in 2005 when, along with Hefner‘s other girlfriends Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson, Madison starred in a reality series called The Girls Next Door.
She says they didn‘t receive a penny for the first series, but eventually it allowed her to make her own money and ultimately offered her a way to leave Hefner, which she did for good in 2009.
After Madison left him, Hefner married a model 60 years his junior, Crystal Harris, in 2012.
He died five years later aged 91.
STRING OF SORDID STORIES
When Madison published her book, co-star Kendra Wilkinson poured scorn on its account of life at the mansion.
Wilkinson, who defended Hefner as an “amazing human being”, claimed Madison wasn‘t being truthful about her experience – or her motivation for publishing a tell-all memoir.
“Holly, you can tell, had this ulterior motive every minute being at the Mansion, and that motive was – it was clear as day – she wanted Hef’s kids, she wanted a piece of Playboy and she wanted to marry Hef for, obviously, his will,” Wilkinson told People.
“That didn’t happen. So what do you think’s going to happen? Revenge. So we’re witnessing some revenge here.”
Madison, for her own part, dismissed Wilkinson‘s objections – and Madison’s bleak picture of the Playboy Mansion is just one of many similar stories to come out in recent years.
Wilkinson herself wrote about the chore-like sexual obligations of being one of Hefner‘s girlfriends, saying she first had intercourse with him when she was 18 and he was 78.
“I had to be very drunk or smoke lots of weed to survive those nights – there was no way around it,” Wilkinson wrote in her book.
“At about the minute mark, I pulled away and it was done. It was like a job. Clock in, clock out. It’s not like I enjoyed having sex with him.”
After leaving the mansion, Madison found fame in her own right.
In 2009 she competed in the US version of Strictly, Dancing With The Stars, finishing in 11th place.
And she starred in her own reality show, Holly‘s World, about her new life and career in Las Vegas.
In 2013, she started married music business boss Pasquale Rotella in a lavish ceremony in Disneyland.
Her former Girls Next Door castmate Bridget Marquardt was a bridesmaid.
But after having two kids together, Madison and Rotella ended their five-year marriage in 2019.
She reportedly began dating Ghost Adventures paranormal investigator Zak Bagans the same year.
Madison is now looking forward to seeing her story played by Ready Or Not star Samara Weaving.
“I couldn‘t be more thrilled with this casting,” Madison told her million Instagram followers yesterday.
This story first appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission
Thank you for visiting My Local Pages and reading this news article on National and local news and updates titled “Hugh Hefner’s ex-girlfriend Holly Madison reveals grim sex truth behind Playboy”. This news update is shared by My Local Pages Australia as part of our news aggregator services.