A shocking posthumous documentary about Playboy exposes the “dark underbelly” of the rampant drug use, sexual depravity, and abuse founder Hugh Hefner encouraged during his “cult-like” reign as CEO.
Former playmates, insiders and employees interviewed for A&E’s upcoming docuseries, “Secrets of Playboy” detailed how life at the mansion and exclusive clubs was drug fueled and demeaning to Playboy Bunnies.
“It was cult-like. The women had been groomed and led to believe they were part of this family. [Hefner] really did believe he owned these women,” said former director of Playmate promotions, Miki Garcia. “We had Playmates that overdosed, that committed suicide.”
His former executive assistant claimed that Hefner stockpiled Quaaludes, a powerful sedative, because they were “leg spreaders” that made women do anything sexually for him and his cronies.
The founder was reportedly a prolific drug user himself, using small doses of the amphetamine Dexedrine to stay amped every day, and cocaine to fuel the group sex he required five nights a week.
Sondra Theodore, a former girlfriend of Hef’s in the late 1970s and 1980s said the amount of sexual activity “broke me like you’d break a horse,” and was directed nightly by Hefner.
“It just got ugly, I felt like I was a ringmaster, I had to put on the same show on every night, it was the same script: “welcome to the family, we’re embracing you.” It was all a lie,” she explained.
“I watched girl after girl show up, fresh faced, adorable and their beauty just washed away. We were nothing to him,” Theodore continued “He was like a vampire. He sucked the life out of these girls for decades.”
According to former Bunny Holly Madison, who became Hef’s girlfriend and moved into the mansion at age 21 in 2000, the behavior continued for decades.
“It was all very mechanical and robotic and you’d follow the other women’s lead. It was really gross to me how Hef didn’t want to use protection,” she said.
Madison said she became suicidal during their relationship, when Hefner had up to six other girlfriends at the same time, but was afraid to leave in fear of the repercussions.
“When you’d go out with Hef he was taking all kinds of naked pictures of these women when we’re wasted out of minds and he would print off eight copies, for him and all the women and pass them around,” she explained. “If I left there there was this mountain of revenge porn waiting to come out.”
The documentary also details how “Soul Train” host Don Cornelius kidnapped two Playboy Bunnies, and raped them for three days while he held them captive, but Hefner never revoked his access to the Playboy Club or reported the incident to the police.
He is also accused of drugging 1970s porn star Linda Lovelace and making her perform profane acts with an animal, and once trying to lure a 17-year-old girl, who was raised in the Playboy mansion, into a threesome with him and another model.
A&E’s ten-part series premieres on January 24th.