Who Inherits Hugh Hefner's Multi-Million Dollar Fortune?

Net worth of late Playboy founder, a married father of four, was estimated to be at least $43 million

By Corinne Heller Sep 29, 2017 6:35 PMTags

It's no secret Hugh Hefner was a multi-millionaire. So who will inherit the late Playboy founder's fortune?

The 91-year-old died on Wednesday. His net worth was estimated to be at least $43 million, a sum that was noted on paperwork her filed in 2009 as part of a divorce and which does not include last year's sale of the Playboy Mansion, Newsweek reported.

Hef is survived by his 31-year-old third wife Crystal Hefner and four children from previous relationships—Christie Hefner, 64, David Hefner, 62, Marston Hefner, 27, and Cooper Hefner, 26, who took over his dad's role of Chief Creative Officer of Playboy Enterprises in 2016 and oversees Playboy magazine's operations. 

The Most Important Women in Hugh Hefner's Life

His latest will and testament has not been made public. His ex-girlfriend Holly Madison wrote in her 2015 tell-all book Down the Rabbit Hole that she discovered a copy of the documents laid out on her side of the bed they previously shared while she was packing her things and preparing to leave the Playboy Mansion after her and Hef's 2008 split.

She said they were left on her side of the bed they previously shared and that it stated that after death tax, Hef's fortunes "would be divvied up starting with roughly 50 percent to his charitable foundation and the bulk of the remainder divided evenly between his four children: Christie, David, Marston, and Cooper."

She also wrote that the will stated that $3 million would be bestowed to her at the time of Hef's death, "provided I still lived at the mansion." Madison said she did not want the money and was offended, writing, "Did he really think he could buy me?"

Hef's family has not commented on her remarks. After Madison's memoir was published, the Playboy founder said in a statement, "Over the course of my life I've had more than my fair share of romantic relationships with wonderful women. Many moved on to live happy, healthy and productive lives, and I'm pleased to say remain dear friends today. Sadly, there are a few who have chosen to rewrite history in an attempt to stay in the spotlight. I guess, as the old saying goes: You can't win 'em all!"


Ethan Miller/WireImage

It is unclear if Crystal will inherit any money from Hef. In January 2013, Us Weekly reported that they signed an "ironclad" prenup before tying the knot the previous New Year's Eve.

The magazine also reported at the time that Crystal was not added to Hef's will, which promises that his fortune would be distributed among "his children, the University of Southern California film school and a variety of charities."

If that is still the case, she will probably not be left with nothing; In 2013, four months after their marriage, she and Hef bought a $4.995 million Hollywood Hills home. She is still listed as a co-owner, property records show.

Crystal has not commented on her husband's death and has taken her Twitter private since the news was revealed.

Hugh Hefner: A Life in Pictures
Dan Tuffs/Getty Images

So what exactly does Hef leave behind?

At the time of his death, Hefner owned 35 percent of the Playboy brand and all of Playboy magazine, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

The site listed his net worth at $50 million. CNBC reported that at the time of his death, his global brand had an estimated net worth of at least $110 million, according to market research firm Wealth-X.

Celebrity Net Worth also said he had $36 million in stocks and bonds and another $6 million in a joint account with an unnamed person. Hef made about $100,000 a month from the magazine, with the rest coming from a pension and retirement, interest and other ventures, the site said.

Hef founded Playboy Enterprises and his famous Playboy magazine in 1953, when he was 27. He took the company private in 2011, along with a private equity firm, in a deal that valued the company at $207 million.

Playboy Enterprises bought the Playboy Mansion in 1971 for just over $1 million and rented it back to Hef for a symbolic sum of $100 a year, according to Esquire. The company sold the mansion in 2016 to his neighbor Daren Metropoulos of Metropoulos & Co. for $100 million. As part of the purchase deal, Metropoulos allowed Hef to live out his days at the property.