Appearing on The Wendy Williams show for a segment airing today, the 35-year-old star opens up about her controversial memoir, which is full of shocking allegations, and responds to the 89-year-old Playboy mogul's statement in which he accuses Madison of choosing to "rewrite history."
"I wrote the book not because I had an ax to grind or because I wanted a reaction from him," Madison says. "I just wanted to tell my story and hopefully inspire other women if they're in a bad relationship or a bad situation, to move on and not feel branded by a choice they made or a person they're known to be with."
As for Hefner's claims that Holly's book is "an attempt to stay in the spotlight"?
"I think he thinks I'm doing it for fame because he can't grasp the fact that a woman would have a message and a story to tell," Madison explains, rolling her eyes.
Madison, who now has one daughter with husband Pasquale Rotella, also shares why she chose to share her story, about seven years after she chose to leave the mansion.
"For so many years, I didn't want to talk about my time at the mansion," she admits. "Everybody would ask me about it and I would give light, positive, dismissive answers...but it turned into the elephant in the room that I couldn't get away from. I hold myself accountable for all the decisions I made in my book and explain why I made them."
She adds: "I'm really proud of it and it's something I would be proud for even my daughter to read one day."
Asked to share a "red flag" from her relationship with Hef, Madison shares one specific example about her struggle with depression, and, as she previously wrote in her book, she admits she became suicidal.
"I had been there a couple years and I was starting to get really depressed. I always tried to be the best girlfriend I could, I tried my best to be happy and embrace the situation and decision I made but I was really depressed and feeling kind of suicidal and I was kind of having a breakdown and crying and telling him about it and saying, 'I think I need to go see a psychiatrist' and he said, ‘No, a psychiatrist would just tell you to leave, you can go talk to my secretary.' So that was a red flag."
Elayne Lodge/Playboy Enterprises
When she decided to leave the mansion, Madison says Hef "very much wanted me to stay and continue doing the show and continue staying here."
"As I was packing up my things, I found this folder on the bed and it was his will and I had seen that he left me several million dollars," she shares. "I thought it was really strange he would leave that out there for me to see. He wanted to get in my head and make me stay and at that point it just wasn't about that. I knew I needed to leave and I'm glad I did."