9 Former Playmates Who Spoke Out About Hugh Hefner & Awful Details We Didn't See On The Reality Show

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Holly Madison Hugh Hefner Kendra Wilkinson Bridget Marquardt

"I didn’t realize that getting into the Playboy world was a dangerous choice,” Holly Madison, star of "The Girls Next Door" and former girlfriend to the now-deceased Hugh Hefner, said. 

"Around the turn of the millennium, it became fashionable for women to appear stupid,” Madison wrote, “to get by solely on their looks and to be concerned only with fame and materialism. Some of the effects of that moment in the zeitgeist still linger today."

There is a difference, however, between looking stupid as a fashion statement and playing dumb as a survival skill.

In the world of reality television, women are often depicted as vapid, carefree, and emotionally unaware. We, as audience members, eat it up so much that we start to crave it. 

But off-camera and behind closed Playboy Mansion doors, being dumb seemed the only viable option to cope with being stuck under the thumb of Hugh Hefner’s emotional control.

9 former Playmates who spoken out about Hugh Hefner and Playboy.

As the years have gone on, the girls have made allegations about Hefner's disturbing sex rituals, degrading comments and other upseting aspects of life at the Playboy mansion.

RELATED: Weird Rumors And Details Surrounding The Cause Of Hugh Hefner's Death And Why His Wife Crystal Harris Wasn't At His Deathbed

1. Holly Madison 

"Imagine having sex with somebody in a room full of women who all hate you and you know they’re all talking s—t about you," Holly Madison said, "Like, how horrible? It was gross.”

Of all of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends on "The Girls Next Door," Madison was known as Hefner's main main squeeze. 

"When I look back at Girls Next Door, especially the first few seasons, I see myself just coping," Madison said. "I was really stiff and not open and just like a robot and just saying the type of things that I felt like Hef would want me to say and things that made him look good, and I almost can’t really regret that because I don’t know how else I would've coped."

When she was 20 years old, Madison transferred to a school in Los Angeles in hopes to pursue her acting career.

Desperate to make ends meet and to continue living in Los Angeles, she decided she’d try to become one of Hefner’s many girlfriends.

Sex with Hefner was reportedly a requirement to living in the Playboy Mansion — a key piece of information that Madison learned her first night out with Hefner and the other girlfriends.

Madison claims Hefner even offered Madison a Quaalude, telling her that it was a “thigh opener.”

She denied the Quaalude, but says some of the other women accepted the “offer.”

"They weren't commonly available then — I don't even know exactly how he was getting them," Madison said. "I know most girls my age were not doing them, and didn't know what they made you feel like. And I'm sure a lot of those girls didn't know what they were at all."

As the night went on, Madison got drunk and was allegedly lured back to Hefner’s bedroom along with the others.

She claims Hefner masturbated while the girls were instructed to play-act lesbian scenes. Meanwhile, two TVs played hardcore porn in the background.

Madison says the group sex occurred every Wednesday and Friday, after an outing to the club.

“It had kind of a chore vibe, I felt,” Madison said.

The control the women felt in the mansion went beyond sex.

Hefner set a 9 p.m. curfew for his girlfriends the nights they were not required to “be home,” and eventually prevented them from being in the Playboy magazine, in fear they would leave him.

Madison says she was also forced to quit her waitressing job at Hooters, which she felt was her only contact with the outside world.

To make matters worse, none of the women were paid for Season 1 of The Girls Next Door.

Hefner was verbally abusive to Madison, according to her claims. She also came out to the public addressing her struggle with body dysmorphia when living in the Playboy Mansion.

“[I] thought I had gained weight, and thought I hadn’t stuck to my diet, and I thought my thighs were huge and I thought, ‘I need to lose five pounds at least,’” she said. “And that’s ridiculous. I look like a stick.”

2. Kendra Wilkinson

Kendra Wilkinson had just graduated high school when she moved into the Playboy Mansion.

"I moved in, and weeks went by, and I didn't know 'sex' was involved ... because I knew nothing about Playboy,” Wilkinson said. “I had just graduated high school.”

Although she’s mostly spoken highly of her times in the Playboy Mansion, she did reveal that she had to get high or drunk to survive the nights where she was invited back to his bedroom.

"I had to be very drunk or smoke lots of weed to survive those nights — there was no way around it," she said. "At about the minute mark, I pulled away and it was done. It was like a job. Clock in, clock out. It's not like I enjoyed having sex with him."

 “At 19 years old, Kendra was stuck with a 9 p.m. curfew, a 78-year-old boyfriend, and a stricter set of rules than she had ever had at home," Madison said, on the topic of Wilkinson. "And now, adding insult to injury, she was finally realizing that she wasn’t as special as Hef made her believe. She was just another blond girlfriend — and life at the mansion wasn’t all she imagined it to be.”

Wilkinson also said that Hefner commented on her weight, telling her she looked “bigger.”

"I had this whole mansion and a great life to enjoy, and all I was doing was lying around and eating," she said. "I felt so lazy and miserable. This was supposed to be paradise, but for me, it wasn't."

3. Bridget Marquardt

Bridget  Marquardt was not Hefner’s main girlfriend, but was one of the unpaid stars of "The Girls Next Door."

Knowing full well that Hefner had no intention of raising a family with her, Marquadt froze her eggs during her stay at the mansion.

In 2006, Marquardt left the mansion. Due to her fertility struggle, she and her boyfriend Nick Carpenter decided to use some of her frozen eggs.

None of her eggs from the mansion survived the thaw.

“That was pretty devastating for me because all this time I though I had an amazing insurance policy,” Marquardt said, “and it didn’t work out.”

RELATED: Why Did Hugh Hefner Take Runaway Bride Crystal Harris Back?

4. Izabella St. James

“It’s not all it’s cracked up to be,” said the model Izabella St. James, who dated Hefner from 2002 to 2004.

One of St. James’ least favorite parts about living in the mansion was her weekly $1,000 beauty allowance.

“We had to go to Hef's room, wait while he picked up all the dog poo off the carpet — and then ask for our allowance," St.James wrote. "We all hated this process. Hef would always use the occasion to bring up anything he wasn't happy about in the relationship."

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St. James also reported that the majority of Hefner's complaints were about the "lack of harmony among the girlfriends" or their lack of sexual participation during his bedroom "parties."

"If we'd been out of town for any reason and missed one of the official 'going out' nights he wouldn't want to give us the allowance," she said. "He used it as a weapon."

The women were reportedly prohibited from spending their allowances on anything besides clothing, making it financially impossible for them to save up and plan an escape.

5. Jill Ann Spaulding

Jill Ann Spaulding claimed that Hefner refused to use protection when having sex with the girls.

In addition, he did not provide STD testing for any of his girlfriends.

"No protection and no testing," Spaulding wrote. "He doesn’t care.”

Allegedly, women were not even allowed to sit out of sex nights with Hefner if she had a nose job or major operation.

Even if a woman was so sick that her doctors advised her not to participate, she still had to show up, reports claim.

6 & 7. Karissa and Kristina Shannon

In 2019, this dynamic duo and Playboy Mansion’s favorite set of twins joined "The Girls Next Door."

The two were allegedly kicked out of the mansion for dating younger men.

They say there was a "no boys allowed" rule in the Playboy Mansion — save for Hefner, of course.

“We were not allowed to have boys in the house. That was the absolute No. 1 rule — no boys allowed,” Karissa said. “That was one of the main reasons we moved out. But living there and being seen out with other guys, Hugh was tripping."

8 & 9. Carla and Mellissa Howe

Playboy Mansion's other favorite set of twins, Carla and Mellissa Howe also spoke out about their experiences living in the Playboy Mansion.

Apparently, a strict code of conduct was enforced on the girlfriends.

If one of the girlfriends broke one of Hefner’s rules, they’d receive an email about it. They claim there were rules about how they presented themselves on social media.

“You’ve got to show everything in a good light,” Melissa said. “And if you’re drunk in a picture you’ll be in trouble.”

The women were also required to dye their hair blonde, but Hefner allowed them to receive as much plastic surgery as they'd like. How thoughtful.

RELATED: Sex With Playmates Nearly Kills Hugh Hefner

Izzy Casey is a writer who covers pop culture, news, and entertainment for YourTango. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has been published in Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, The Iowa Review, BOAAT, The Columbia Review, Black Warrior Review, Bennington Review, and New York Tyrant.