Hugh Hefner on his proposal to Crystal: he put the ring in a Little Mermaid music box

This story would be a sweet one if it was about an age appropriate couple, (like Nick and Mariah and the ring pop) but as it is it only serves to highlight the massive age difference between the bride and groom. Credit to Kaiser for observing that this shows what a child Crystal Harris really is at 24 when contrasted with her 84 year-old fiance. Hugh Hefner proposed to Harris with a ring in a Little Mermaid music box. Because as a little girl Harris must have dreamed of marrying a rich prince old enough to be her great grandfather and giving up life as she knows it to live in an aging dank mansion. I always thought The Little Mermaid was a crock. Arial has to leave her family and friends in the ocean and all she gets is a hot guy whose looks will fade and whose lifestyle is completely different from anything she’s ever known before that single week she traded in her voice to stare at him. Crystal doesn’t even get a hot guy in this bargain.

We were up in the bedroom,” Harris, 24, tells PEOPLE, “and my favorite movie is The Little Mermaid, so he had the ring in a Little Mermaid box, and that was so special. I opened it and the first thing he said to me was, ‘I hope it fits!’ ”

Adds Hefner, 84, “I got her a little music box with the Mermaid theme to it, and it just looked like the perfect size and the perfect place to be the ring box. So when she started unwrapping that gift, I reached over and wound it so it was playing music while she discovered what was inside.”

Although she cried with happiness, Harris says, “There wasn’t any ‘down-on-one-knee’ or anything like that, because we are not traditional.”

The ring is a circle diamond “a little over three karats,” says Harris, “and it’s on platinum setting and it has diamonds all around the band as well. It’s so pretty.”

Meanwhile, in addition to holiday gifts of an iPhone and a scrapbook of their past year together, Harris gave Hefner a painting she commissioned of her, Hefner and their dog Charlie by former Playmate and Amazing Race contestant Victoria Fuller.

Crystal “is so totally devoted,” Hefner says. “Her priorities are pretty much our relationship, No. 1 and No. 2 and 3, and you don’t always find that. Despite the age disparity, the truth of the matter is we have a great deal in common, we really complement one another, we have a wonderful time together, and I love her.”

The pair met at a Halloween party at the Playboy Mansion in 2008. “We were both psychology majors in school, so there was never a dull moment,” says Harris. “We always had something to talk about. We go to Vegas and stay at his suite at the Palms, we travel all over, and we’ve been to Europe. We have movie nights at home with all our friends, and I have a blast with him. He’s the one with all the energy!”

Hefner, who’s been married (and divorced) twice, admits he has been publicly skeptical about the institution of marriage. “I do think there is a certain reality to the fact that people start to take one another for granted,” the Playboy founder says.

“I just simply found myself in a relationship with Crystal in which I felt, quite frankly, the opposite seemed to be true – that the more committed to one another we were, the closer we got, and the more we loved one another, and I just think this one, for me, will be the exception to the rule.”

[From People]

Some of you have noted that the ring (photo below) looks relatively small and cheap by Hollywood standards. It’s an estimated 3 1/2 carats and is said to have cost $90,000 though, so it’s not like Hef was skimping.

Analyzing what Hef and Crystal said about their relationship, Hef is impressed that he has a woman who always seems to drop everything for him and has nothing else going on (he says she puts their relationship at priority 1,2, and 3) and Crystal likes the things that Hef does for her. (“We go to Vegas and stay at his suite at the Palms, we travel all over, and we’ve been to Europe.”)

We never saw what happened to The Little Mermaid after she got married and I always assumed she was miserable. Like all of a sudden she has legs, has to breathe air, and can’t pal around with her friends. That’s not happily ever after that’s trading in your whole life for a man. Good luck to Harris. It’s not surprising that she still thinks The Little Mermaid is an ideal fairy tale.




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56 Responses to “Hugh Hefner on his proposal to Crystal: he put the ring in a Little Mermaid music box”

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  1. Kevin says:

    When the preacher asks at the ceremony does anyone object to this union, I wouldn’t be surprised if Abe Vigoda stood up and yelled, “Yeah, thats my squeeze, Hef, you bastard!”

  2. BetC says:

    It’s not that she has given up her whole life. The man is old, he will probably live another 10 years max, probably not even that long. So she will be a widow at the age of 34 (or sooner). She can remarry, have kids, etc. Really this whole thing is not that dramatic, I believe it is the same sort of thing Anna Nicole did, right? Marry the super old, rich man and then wait until he kicks the bucket. Not quite the Little Mermaid story really….

  3. sickofit says:

    yeah, 24 my ass.

  4. brin says:

    “There wasn’t any down on one knee or anything”…that’s because if he did, he’d never be able to get back up…geezer.

  5. Leona says:

    I hope she meets a young hunky guy on her wedding day and ditches Hef at the alter.

  6. samihami says:

    No way she’s 24. Look at that face; that is not the face of a 24 year old. She’s very pretty, though. I’d say early thirties.

  7. Lukie says:

    @brin: you beat me to it! Totally agree!

  8. Eve says:

    He should have put the ring inside a tiny cash register. It would make more sense (especially if it made that “cha ching” sound the moment she opened it).

  9. Tess says:

    If by the age of 24, The Little Mermaid is her favorite movie, I question her IQ.

  10. Kelly says:

    Actually the litlle mermaid became foam and disappeared in the ocean, because the prince fell in love with another woman and married her….so ironic.

    (this is the original story of Andersen)

  11. Isabella says:

    I agree with you BetC, but I have a feeling that, like Anna Nicole, after this old perv finally kicks the bucket he would leave her with barely nothing to show financially. I bet you even if they do get married, Hef is not going to be too generous when it comes to the prenup or will.

  12. annaloo says:

    Beauty and the Beast would have been more fitting.

    Too bad Disney hasn’t made Rip Van Winkle yet.

  13. Kaboom says:

    He wouldn’t have gone down on his knee to propose because Viagra does not help you back up that way.

  14. crazydaisy says:


  15. whitedaisy says:

    This skeezy old bast*rd is disgusting.
    If you have read excerpts from former residents of the Playboy Mansion, he is a misogynistic pervert and these very low self-esteemed women are paid directly by him every month. The women stand in line and he hands them their “pay” while reprimanding them if they didn’t participate in the sex every week. Sex that consisted of the women standing in line; jumping on for a few seconds, unprotected sex mind you, and then off again.

    I just learned about all of this and it makes me sad for the women and puts him at near Joe Francis’ level of hell.

  16. toriful says:

    In the original story, the mermaid loses the prince to another woman. She goes to the Sea witch to see about getting either the prince or her fins back. The prince takes her on his honeymoon with the new girl (cuz really, what’s more romantic than having your non-verbal ex there to look at while you nail your new wife who has the ability to nag properly?)The Sea Witch gives the mermaid a knife and tells her to stab the new wife in the chest, letting the blood hit her legs. Once the blood coats her legs, they will become fins again and she can rejoin her sisters and the other Merfolk, complete with new voice in tact and can find a merman to marry. When she goes in to stab the new wife, Ariel sees her asleep on the Prince’s chest with a smile of contentment on her face. She realizes that new girl truly loves the Prince and she can’t begrudge her that. Instead, she goes out to the bow of the ship and stabs herself. Her reward for her unselfish behavior is that she gets to go to heaven. You see, Merfolk only turn into seafoam when they die because they have no souls. Apparently when Jesus was walking on water he forgot to bend down and ‘save’ the merfolk in addition to the human folk.

  17. wonderful says:

    My question is: what does this mean in Hefner’s world? What difference does marriage make? He’ll still be banging other broads, right? Wouldnt everything pretty much stay the same?

  18. Javagirl1 says:

    I’m a bit skeptical about the mansion being dank and smelly. With all the parties he throws, I’d think the staff would be on top of that.

  19. fanny says:

    Swim away quick little girl!!

  20. the original bellaluna says:

    Yeah, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  21. Iggles says:

    Eww. He’s old enough to be her great-grandfather! YUCK!

  22. MrsOdie2 says:

    Hey, BetC and Isabella, how did that work out for Anna Nicole? Happily ever after with her dead husband’s millions? ;)

    Your favorite movie is “The Little Mermaid”??? You’re TWENTY-FOUR! Wow, Hef does like ‘em young, doesn’t he.

    Their quotes make it very clear what they value. Him: servitude, Her: luxury. They’re a perfect match.

  23. Johnny Depp's Girl says:

    This grosses me out to no end. Sorry, I dont like money that much to have to deal with an old smelly bag of bones on viagra.

    Wonder if he wears a diaper?


  24. mln76 says:

    How gross! The Little Mermaid is her favorite movie and she is marrying an octogenarian.
    I agree with BetC the chick is figuring she’ll only have to deal with him for the next 10 years but look how that planned turned out for Anna Nicole.

  25. TXCinderella says:

    It looks like she has had some work done to appear younger. No way is she 24.

  26. TXCinderella says:

    Do they really think the public is buying all of this?

  27. Bailey says:

    my stomach turns just looking at him.
    my new, appetite suppressant

  28. MissyA says:

    The seaweed is always greenah/ On somebody else’s lake/ You dream about going up there/ Ah, but that is a big mistake!

  29. Nicole says:

    Actually, there was a second Little Mermaid movie. I completely forget what it’s called. I think she’s pretty happy. But I don’t think she had to sign a prenup.

  30. Westcoaster says:

    So when The Little Mermaid movie came out Hugh Hefner could have taken his grand children and this woman to see it at a children’s matinee. There is something very disturbing about this

  31. Eve says:

    my stomach turns just looking at him.
    my new, appetite suppressant

    @ Bailey:

    Now imagine him naked and with a boner — because that’s how she’s going to see him.

  32. Kaye says:

    The ring is pretty but I don’t believe for one second that it cost $90,000. I say $15,000 tops.

  33. hairball says:

    Who cares how big of a house or all the places they’ve been?

    When it’s an aging, sexist skeleton slumped next to you in a sailor’s hat that you have to have sex with – the thrill wears off very, very quickly. You’re a prisoner.

  34. bluhare says:

    Am with you all on the age 24 thing. If she is, so am I.

    And also with the person who questioned Little Mermaid as favorite movie. WTF? Now I’m thinking she’s 34 with the brain of a 14 year old.

  35. bluhare says:

    Oh yeah, and I bet her bridesmaids will all be ballerinas.

  36. Fishlips says:

    Dirty pepaw!!

    LOL @ Kevin!!

  37. LindaR says:

    I am grossed out by the fact that this 24?? year old woman is still into The Little Mermaid and that she is willing to trade a normal relationship with a man around her own age with living in an ugly house with an old guy with whom she has nothing in common and wouldn’t like her if she was old and wrinkly. However, as for him being icky and wrinkly etc., well surprise everyone, if you are lucky to live so long that will be you one day and hopefully you will be spending your last days with your old and equally wrinkly husband. I’m not even close to being there yet, but when I am I hope the currently unwrinkly and decidedly handsome man I am married to is still waking me up in the morning with a dry old-man kiss. It beats the alternative.

  38. Kim says:

    He is so cheap – he got that ring for free for publicity im sure & its cheap & ugly!

    At least he admits he doesnt like motivated girls. He didnt propose to Holly because she had career aspirations and made them known to Hef. I think Crystal has aspirations also but she is smart and pretending her life is devoted to nothing but Hef.

    Thats how dumb Hef is –
    She is waiting for him to croak to get on with her own life/career. But he isnt going to leave her a ton – he will leave it all to his family. He will leave her more than she came in with though so i guess thats good enough for her to sleep with him a few more yrs til he passes away.

    Shell be able to play the sad widow and make money off interviews after his death etc. Im sure a tell all book baout their yrs together will be penned as well. Shes got a plan – she isnt a dumb girl, just very patient.

  39. Bill Hicks is God says:

    A Little Mermaid box – WTF? Add that to the little girl decor of pink bedroom walls, white carpets and being told to call him “daddy” during sex…

    Closet pedo. Absolutely.

  40. IsabelSinn says:

    I’m 24 and I’m obsessed with The Little Mermaid. I even had that as a (partial, I’m not that tacky)theme to my wedding. I’m sure she’s not talking about the original story of The Little Mermaid, which is indeed awesome, but more likely the movie series. Which I believe now there are 3? Ariel had a daughter in part two who wanted to be a mermaid. Hijinks, bladie-blah. According to Disney, she still got her happily ever after. Because, let’s face it. Disney is always “loosely based” on the original. If it were completely accurate, we’d have step-sisters cutting up their feet and birds pecking out their eyes.

    I still highly doubt that she’s 24.

  41. shelby says:

    its just sad, hes a sorry old man who hasnt looked in the mirror in years and shes a blatant golddigger and fame whore.

  42. lili says:

    I keep thinking how celebs could lie about their age and get away with it – they have to have schoolmates, friends, relatives growing up, who would probably approve or disapprove those claims

  43. lili says:

    he is doing it for publicity for the dying business, she is doing it for …. well .. there’s nothing to lose, any more

  44. DetRiotgirl says:

    @IsabellSinn Thank God SOMEONE is defending the Little Mermaid! Hef is a total creep and considering their age gap, this manor of proposal is all kinds of gross. But, people need to leave the actual movie out of this. There is nothing wrong with loving Disney movies as an adult.

    Funny story, I have this friend who insists on pointing out the flaws in every Disney princess movie. Now, as a child, my big dreams in life were to either be a baseball player, an actress, singer or a Disney animator. It’s fair to say I was a little obsessed with all things Disney back then. I’ve always been way more into the animal movies (Bambi, Dumbo, Robin Hood, the Jungle Book) than the princess movies. But, the princess movies are good too. Anyway, here’s how this conversation went with my friend:

    Me: I still love the little Mermaid.

    Movie Ruining Friend (MRF for short): Yeah, a movie where the prince falls madly in love with the hot girl who CAN’T TALK. So, what does that teach young women about love? If you want that Prince, you better not have your own opinion about anything.

    Me: Ok, fine. What about Beauty and the Beast? At least Belle can read.

    MRF: Yeah, Beauty and the Beast is the story of a young girl in a relationship with an abusive man that she thinks she can change. NEXT!

    Me: Ok. What about Alladdin? I think that’s the most romantic of all the Disney movies.

    MRF: The moral of Alladdin is that it’s ok to let a man lie to you if it ends well.

    Me: What about the newer one? The Princess and the Frog? At least Tianna has a job!

    MRF: Yeah, she works and she works, and in the end she gets her restaurant… Because the Prince buys it for her. Not impressed.

    Me: Cinderella? At least she’s using the Prince to get out of poverty. I never got the impression that she loved him, so much as that she just wanted a way out of Broom duty.

    MRF: So, you’re saying the most wisdom Disney can offer young girls is to find the richest man and dig up some gold? Christ, it’s not 1950 anymore.

    Me: Welll…

    *debate over, movies ruined*

    In all seriousness, everything my friend says is true. But, I still love all the old Disney movie anyway. I’m 25 with no kids and I fully admit to having a large section of Disney DVDs on my shelf.

  45. Stubbylove says:

    I just keep trying NOT to visualize what an 84 year old viagra-enduced erect penis looks like with the saggy balls & grey hairs below…worth millions? Perhaps. If one kept the lights off & was heavily intoxicated.

  46. MaiGirl says:

    There isn’t enough money, mind-altering substances, or brain damage in the world to make me marry that sexist bag of nasty!

  47. Jeannified says:

    Man, you KNOW Holly madison is not pleased about THIS!!!

  48. Anna says:

    She’s at least 30.

  49. Megatrona says:

    Jennified: amen sister, I was thinking the exact same, she was desperate to marry him and get all the playboy ampire

  50. becky says:

    There’s not enough money in the world…

  51. emissions says:

    too bad she hadn’t been born till ten years after the little mermaid came out.

    maybe the sentiment was lost on her.

  52. Annabelle says:

    #39: My thoughts EXACTLY.

    #40: How can you have a partial theme of L/M at your wedding without it being tacky? Like, honestly, how? I’m not trying to be mean. It would have to be a master execution cos having disney ANYTHING at your wedding just screams tacky to me. I’d love to see pictures of a non-tacky partially-disney themed wedding!!

  53. Hakura says:

    @IsabellSinn & DetRiotGirl – I’m with you =) I’m 24 (no children/husband), and I still love the Disney movies… They were a big part of our childhoods, as Disney was most popular during the time we were young. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying something nostalgic.

    But unfortunately, you’re right about the negative messages that can be found behind most of those fairytale stories…But I think the issue is not to apply adult sensibilities to the things we enjoyed as children. They weren’t interpreted that way when we enjoyed them originally. We can do our best to preserve them, of course.

    I often have to try *really* hard not to apply my adult reasoning to stories like the ‘Lion King’… incest & such. *shudder* I just look back upon it as an artistic inspiration, since I’d always try to draw the characters. (Helped me to get much better. xD)

    But yes, in regards to this marriage… it’s really gross. I don’t care *what* her reasons behind it might be, there’s no amount of money worth doing what she’s doing. After hearing all that stuff about how the girls have to do those… sex ‘parties’.. it nauseates me to think about it.

  54. tg says:

    I wonder if they use Hef’s IcyHot for his arthritis as an aphrodisiac? It has the cool, wintergreen feeling that can still warm up a bit, so perhaps it stokes the fires of their passion.

  55. My2Cents says:

    There is nothing wrong with adults liking kids movies. I JUST watched Toy Story 3 and loved it and we are both 35 with no kids.

    Hef is trying to stay relevent. That’s all. Seems weird that Holly Madison loves anything Disney and now this chick is into it too. Meh!

  56. Hakura says:

    @My2Cents – I agree. And in recent years, most kids movies have put a lot of ‘subtext’ in, to make them more enjoyable for the adults. Which I’m quite glad of. xD References children wouldn’t get, but that adults definitely grasp.