Playboy Responds After Holly Madison Alleges She Was "Gaslit" in "Cult-Like" Mansion

Playboy issued a statement to E! News after Holly Madison made allegations about her isolating experience in the Playboy Mansion. The company began, "Today's Playboy is not Hugh Hefner's Playboy."

By Lindsay Weinberg Jan 21, 2022 3:07 AMTags

Playboy has weighed in after former bunny Holly Madison made multiple allegations about her time in the Playboy Mansion.

In a sneak peek of the forthcoming docuseriesSecrets of Playboy, Holly shared, "The reason I think the mansion was very cult-like looking back on it is because we were all kind of gaslit."

She said the stars were "expected" to think of publisher Hugh Hefner as "this really good guy."

Holly, who starred in The Girls Next Door with Hugh from 2005 to 2009, added, "And you started to feel like, 'Oh, he's not what they say in the media, he's just a nice man.'" 

"Another thing that reminds me of a cult is how easy it is to get so isolated from the outside world there," the 42-year-old author said. "You had a 9 o'clock curfew. You were encouraged to not have friends over. You weren't really allowed to leave unless it was like a family holiday."

On-Screen Playboy Bunnies

In a statement to E! News, Playboy addressed Holly's clip from the A&E docuseries.

"Today's Playboy is not Hugh Hefner's Playboy," it read. "We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences." 

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Playboy continued, "As a brand with sex positivity at its core, we believe safety, security, and accountability are paramount. The most important thing we can do right now is actively listen and learn from their experiences."

The statement noted that the organization's workforce is more than 80 percent female, adding, "We will never be afraid to confront the parts of our legacy as a company that do not reflect our values today" and "we are committed to our ongoing evolution as a company and to driving positive change for our communities." 

Holly isn't the only former Playboy bunny who has spoken out about the company culture in the 2000s. 

Hugh's third wife, Crystal Hefner, recently shared that she removed "everything fake" from her body and embraced a new sense of style that felt more "authentic" to her real personality. 

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"I don't know whether I felt empowered by dressing scantily clad, showing cleavage, etc …or if I just felt it was expected of me," she wrote on Instagram, "but now I can confidently and 100% proudly say, modesty is what empowers me these days."

Crystal, who also appeared on The Girls Next Door TV show, further reflected on her time in the Mansion last year. "In a lot of ways it was a sanctuary to me, but in other ways, it was my prison," she wrote. "I'm still healing from certain experiences... It feels very contradictory at times to reflect back. I really want to start opening up and being honest with you guys about it all."

Watch the Secrets of Playboy trailer here ahead of its Jan. 24 premiere.