Hugh Hefner’s widow, Crystal Hefner, has confirmed an unsettling claim made by Holly Madison in the new A&E documentary series “Secrets of Playboy.”
In the series, Madison — who dated Hugh Hefner from 2001 to 2008 and co-starred in his 2005 reality show, “The Girls Next Door” — expressed fear about breaking up with the magazine mogul and moving out of his mansion because he had nude photos of her he had taken on disposable cameras without her consent. Madison has also said in the past that Hefner had a large collection of these photos that he had taken of other Playboy Playmates as well.
“I found thousands of those disposable camera photos you are talking about,” Crystal Hefner tweeted Monday at Madison. “I immediately ripped them up and destroyed every single one of them for you and the countless other women in them. They’re gone.”
Madison expressed appreciation for Crystal Hefner’s decision.
Madison has been speaking about her experiences as Hugh Hefner’s “main girlfriend” for years (Hefner famously dated multiple women at once). In her 2015 memoir, ”Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny,” Madison said that living with Hefner at his infamous Playboy Mansion was full of “misery” that resulted in depression and thoughts of suicide.
“Everyone thinks that the infamous metal gate was meant to keep people out,” she wrote in her book. “But I grew to feel it was meant to lock me in.”
In “Secrets of Playboy,” which premiered its first two episodes Monday, Madison said one of the reasons why she stayed so long is because she was scared Hefner would use the nonconsensual photos as blackmail.
“When I lived at the mansion, I was afraid to leave,” Madison said on the docuseries, according to People. “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.”
Madison described to the “Power: Hugh Hefner” podcast in December 2021 how her ex would go about taking these photos of her and other Playmates.
“[Hugh Hefner] was constantly taking photos of these women on his disposable camera,” she said on the podcast. “And these women were almost always intoxicated. I know I was — heavily intoxicated.”
Madison also shared that Hugh Hefner circulated these photos without the women’s consent.
“He would make copies of all the pictures and hand them out to everyone who had gone out that night,” Madison added. “So if you were messed up and if you were in his bathtub with your top off and some other girl is doing some sexually explicit pose on you and he took a picture of that on his disposable camera, he’d make a copy and give it to everyone that night and put it in a scrapbook.”