Hugh Hefner's Wife Crystal Hefner Is Ready to Tell "Hard Stories" From Life in Playboy Mansion

Crystal Hefner, wife of Hugh Hefner, is getting ready to release a memoir about her life with the late Playboy magazine mogul at the Playboy Mansion.

By Corinne Heller Aug 04, 2023 5:06 PMTags
Watch: Crystal Hefner to Tell "Hard Stories" From Playboy Life

Crystal Hefner is breaking her silence on life in the Playboy Mansion.

The former Playboy playmate, who was married to Hugh Hefner from 2012 until his death in 2017, is revisiting that chapter in her life in the upcoming memoir Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself—and as she makes clear, she's not holding anything back.

"Everyone assumes [I was] some dumb young girl who became part of [Hugh's] girlfriend entourage, and, you know, 'She's an idiot,'" Crystal told Us Weekly in comments posted Aug. 3. "But now I have a pretty clear understanding of what I went through and what went on, and it'll be apparent in the book."

She continued, "There are hard stories and people that have hurt me, and they're in there. The stories are very detailed, and there are things that have never been spoken about before."

Crystal was 21 when she met the late magazine magnate at a Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. He soon asked her to move in with him and his other girlfriends, 19-year-old twins Karissa Shannon and Kristina Shannon.

Secrets of Playboy Bombshells

Crystal noted that during her time with Hugh, she "was rewarded for being codependent and feeling like I was nothing without Hef and had no value of my own."

And it wasn't until after his death that she was able to look back on their relationship with clarity.

"Therapy really helped," she said. "You start backtracking and [noticing] different behaviors. I'm like, 'Oh, that's gaslighting. That's narcissism.' It took years for me to understand what I went through, understand myself and also understand Hef and why he did certain things."

While Crystal's upcoming memoir delves deeper into her time at the Playboy Mansion, she has alluded to her complex relationship with the Hugh and his legacy. "In a lot of ways it was a sanctuary to me," she wrote on Instagram in December 2021, "but in other ways, it was my prison."

She continued, "The same with Hef. He was good to me in many ways, but in other ways, he wasn't."

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage

And many of her fellow former Playmates and girlfriends of Hugh have spoken out about their respective times at the Playboy mansion, including Karissa and Kristina, who alleged in the 2022 A&E docuseries Secrets of Playboy that they self-medicated with alcohol to alleviate their anxiety about having sexual encounters with Hugh and at one point "caught chlamydia" during their time living in the residence.

In addition, Karissa alleged that to her, having sex with the Playboy founder was "like rape," adding, "He used control mechanisms completely through everything." She also alleged that she got pregnant and had an abortion.

E! News has reached out to reps for Playboy and the Shannon twins for comment and has not heard back.

Holly Madison—Hugh's former head girlfriend who lived in the Playboy Mansion between 2001 and 2008—had also recounted her relationship with the Playboy founder in her 2015 memoir Down the Rabbit Hole. She accused her ex of "humiliating his girlfriends" and wrote that she "developed my own brand of Stockholm syndrome, identifying with my captor."

Instagram / Crystal Hefner

She also took part in the Secrets of Playboy docuseries, alleging that as Hugh's girlfriend, she had a "9 o'clock curfew" at the Playboy Mansion, where her peers were allegedly "encouraged to not have friends over" and "weren't really allowed to leave unless it was like a family holiday."

In response to all the allegations made on the docuseries, Playboy had said in a statement at the time, "Today's Playboy is not Hugh Hefner's Playboy. We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences." 

The group added, "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."

Crystal has spoken vaguely about her experience at the Playboy Mansion before. "In a lot of ways it was a sanctuary to me," she wrote on Instagram in December 2021, "but in other ways, it was my prison."

She continued, "The same with Hef. He was good to me in many ways, but in other ways, he wasn't."

Crystal's memoir, Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself, is set for release Jan. 23, 2024.

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