The 10-part A&E network docuseries “Secrets of Playboy” just premiered Monday, but it’s already making waves in the entertainment industry. Followers were mostly aware of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s highly unconventional lifestyle and penchant for exploring the boundaries of sexual promiscuity. But the claims being made in the documentary are truly shocking.
Most fans know Hefner, who died in 2017 at the age of 91, as the man who commercialized pornographic images. He smoked pipes, wore silk pajamas, and ruled over a revolving harem of young, blonde women. The hedonistic, drug and orgy-filled parties at the Playboy mansion are the stuff of legends.
However, the women who once participated in Hefner’s lifestyle are now claiming there were acts of depravity happening that even the most sexually progressive people would condemn. They are claiming incidents of rape and bestiality behind the mansion’s walls, Daily Mail reported.
Some of the strongest voices on the docuseries so far come from Hef’s former Playmate girlfriend Sondra Theodore, Director of Playmate Promotions Miki Garcia, and long-time “Bunny Mother” PJ Masten, who managed the staff at Playboy nightclubs.
Garcia described the overall atmosphere as toxic. She said, “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. We had Playmates that overdosed, that committed suicide.”
Most documentary participants agreed that Hefner’s insatiable appetites led to desensitization, meaning he required more extreme, bizarre sexual acts to become aroused. This is what led to him watching snuff films and, allegedly, forcing others to engage in sex acts with animals or doing so himself.
Theodore claimed, “I walked in on him with my dog and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ I was shocked. He made it seem like it was just a one-time thing, and that he was just goofing off. But I never left him alone with my dog again.”
At another point, the former Playmate said, “He scared me at the end…you couldn’t satisfy him. He wanted more and more and more.”
She also discussed Hefner’s effect on the women who entered the mansion. “I watched girl after girl show up, fresh faced, adorable and their beauty just washed away. We were nothing to him,” Theodore said. “He was like a vampire. He sucked the life out of these girls for decades.”
Unfortunately, the story about Hefner and a dog isn’t the only alleged incident of animal cruelty to come out of “Secrets.”
Daily Mail reported that one episode includes an interview with 1970s “Deep Throat” porn star Linda Lovelace, who recalls being treated like a “piece of meat” and made to perform oral sex on a German Shepherd with Hefner and his friends watching.
Since the episodes aired, the Playboy brand has been working to distance itself from its founder.
Playboy’s group leadership team released an open letter just ahead of the January 24 premiere. It said in part that they “trust and validate women and their stories” and “strongly support the individuals who have come forward to share their experiences.”
“As a brand with sex positivity at its core, we believe safety, security and accountability are paramount, and anything less is inexcusable,” the letter said.
“Today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy. Together we are building upon the aspects of our legacy that have made a positive impact, including serving as a platform for free expression and a convener of safe conversations on sex, inclusion and freedom,” the letter continued.
“We will continue to confront any parts of our legacy that do not reflect our values today, and to build upon the progress we have made as we evolve as a company so we can drive positive change for you and our communities.”
The letter also mentioned that the Hefner family is no longer affiliated with the brand.
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