The two spilled on Hef's "fake crying," his black book, their allowance and why Holly gets "so offended when Kendra comes out and tries to invalidate my stories."
The Girls Next Door continue to open up about their time with Hugh Hefner in the Playboy Mansion, with Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt giving another deep dive into their early days as Hef’s girlfriends on their podcast.
Episode 3 of their Girls Next Level podcast was all about learning the ropes at the mansion — which includes the rules they were allegedly subjected to while living there and the ways Hefner would “manipulate” them.
Madison went first, since she moved in a good time before Bridget entered the picture. She said that when she got an invitation to live in the mansion, she “wasn’t given any kind of a breakdown on what the rules were” and none of the other women already living there were helpful at all. At the time, she only knew about the 9pm curfew, saying it wasn’t something she had an issue with, as she wasn’t interested in going out to clubs or meeting men at that point in her life.
“What I was interested in was getting my life back on track and I knew I’d have some fun experiences at the mansion and payoff my college debts and get on my feet,” she said. “That was the only rule I knew about. I didn’t know what the weekly schedule was, I didn’t know you wouldn’t be allowed to work.”
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Holly claimed Hefner told her to quit her job at Hooters, telling her he was “jealous.” She said she listened because “financially it didn’t make sense for me to choose the job over the mansion.”
When Madison first moved in, she said Hefner was pretty free flowing with his money — saying that at Christmas the girls all got a $1,000 cash from him, along with “enough money to buy seven identical gifts” for themselves and the other women. She wouldn’t disclose the amount they were given, but said she was able to buy two Louis Vuitton bags for her gift. “He definitely dialed down the budget a lot,” she added when Bridget exclaimed that it “wasn’t like that when I was there!”
As she continued, Holly said at the beginning she felt like she could do no wrong, because she was “the shiny new toy, so to speak” and Hef liked to put the latest arrivals on a pedestal.
“It’s kind of because he wants to start drama and stick it to the other girls a little bit and that’s why I get so offended when Kendra [Wilkinson] comes out and tries to invalidate my stories because she was always the new girl,” said Holly. “Nobody new ever came in after her and she never moved up a slot, so to speak. So she was always in that position where she was treated the best … for me, on the other hand, I moved in during a time when everything was chaotic and Hef was changing the way he handled the girlfriends. I was the golden child for a minute but it was only like a few months later that things started to change.”
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Madison said the “love bombing” kicked into overdrive after that, with Hef allegedly talking about spending his whole life with her — something she wasn’t sure he even wanted, but instead said as a “manipulation tactic” to keep her around and in line. She claimed he would also guilt trip her when she even showed interest in appearing in Playboy, allegedly telling her, “I didn’t think you were like the other girls.” That, she said, made her feel like “a horrible person.”
She said it wasn’t long until the other women all “turned on me hard,” when Hef supposedly started pitting them against each other. Holly claimed that when other women would return home after curfew, he’d ask them, “Why can’t you be a good girl like [Holly]?” and they all began to give her the “cold shoulder.” She said she soon realized she didn’t really know what she was getting herself into when she moved in.
Holly claimed she witnessed Hef kick one of the women out for visiting a boyfriend — a big no no — when she said she was with her family. “When he kicked her out, I mean he had all her stuff packed up in boxes, left by the back gate, banned from the property,” said Madison, “and the girl who narced on her was like gloating about it.”
Madison was eventually moved into the main bedroom with Hef as she became the #1 girlfriend — but, unlike previous girlfriends as Holly claimed, she wasn’t allowed to have her own room or apartment or nights “off.” She said there was “no privacy” in the bedroom, which had people coming in and out all day, in addition to the sex parties at night. “The bedroom experience was kind of constantly traumatizing because I didn’t feel comfortable having sex in front of people, that just eroded my mental health to the bone,” she continued.
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Overall, she compared the experience of being one of Hef’s girlfriends to a full-time job.
“You weren’t allowed to work, you had to be in that house by 9:00 every night, you had to be with him at every public appearance he made, you had to look a certain way, you had to dress a certain way, you had to be a PR machine for him,” she said. “It was most definitely a job.”
Bridget agreed, saying she never looked at the weekly allowance they were given as “money for sex,” but instead it was “money for the clothes that we needed to get, money for not working so he could have full run of our schedule.”
Of the weekly allowance, the women said it not only included $1,000 a week for clothes but also visits to the salon. “We have to have platinum blonde hair, so he pays for the salon bills,” said Holly, before they revealed that getting said allowance wasn’t always easy.
“You had to track this multimillionaire business mogul, who still at this time was editor in chief … you had to track him down in the middle of the day and be like, ‘Hi, honey, can I collect my allowance?'” claimed Holly, saying Hef himself doled out the money. She added that the only benefit of being the main girlfriend was that she could ask him for it first thing in the morning, while the other women had to chase him down.
Bridget said she “always felt uncomfortable” asking for money and would sometimes put off doing it until a couple weeks built up — something which would upset the other girls, who thought it made it look like they didn’t need the money at all. Marquardt also said Hef had a “black book” to not only mark off when the allowance was collected, but to “keep track of who slept with him and when.” Holly said she wanted to “burn” the book, which she claimed also included nude photos of all the girls. For what it’s worth, Crystal Hefner claimed she came across “thousands” of nude photos and “immediately” ripped them up.
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The two women also claimed Hefner would often “fake cry,” with Holly saying he would do it “when he was trying to get his way with a girl.”
“Like if we were emotional about something or asked about something, he would start fake crying and it was such bad acting and so obvious,” she continued, adding that she felt vindicated after Kendra moved in and asked her, “Does Hef fake cry?”
“It was insane how obvious it was, but you can’t say anything because he’s the one with all the power in the relationship,” Madison continued. “It was insanity and something I would have never expected from a cultural icon.”
Added Bridget: “I do come to his defense a lot but the fake crying was for real a thing. The first time I saw it I was like, ‘Wait, what is happening right now?'”
After Holly released her book and before his death, Hefner responded with a statement that seemed aimed at any exes who ever spoke out against him in public.
“Over the course of my life I’ve had more than my fair share of romantic relationships with wonderful women,” he told Us Magazine at the time. “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!”
While “Secrets of Playboy” was airing, hundreds of former Playboy Bunnies, Playmates, ex-girlfriends and employees also defended Hefner, calling the allegations presented in the 10-part docuseries “unfounded.” Read their full statement here.
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