Two weeks ago, we covered some excerpts from Holly Madison’s tell-all memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole. Holly made it sound like her life at the Playboy Mansion was pretty unappealing – the group sex with Hugh Hefner, the emotional abuse, the petty rivalries between “girlfriends” that Hefner stoked and encouraged, all of it led to Holly being depressed and suicidal. For what it’s worth, I tend to believe Holly. I know she’s trying to sell a book and maybe some of the stories are exaggerated, but the big stuff feels true. But Hefner still thinks he can save his reputation (?), so he offered this statement to media outlets:
“Over the course of my life I’ve had more than my fair share of romantic relationships with wonderful women. 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!”
Eh. He sounds like his soup is cold. Besides, it’s not like Holly is trying to be super-famous or anything. Holly is active on social media and she still makes the occasional public appearance, but she mostly lives a pretty quiet life in Las Vegas with her family. It’s not like she’s out in LA, shilling for a reality show, which is what she did when she was with Hef. So Holly responded to Hef’s “ignore her, she’s a dumb famewhore” argument. Via ET:
“It wasn’t about having an ax to grind or wanting to get a reaction from him [Hefner], or, you know, inviting him back into my life in any way. I don’t really care about his response. I wanted to share my story to inspire other women who might be in a bad relationship to get out, or not be branded by bad decisions they’ve made, and take charge of their lives and move on. … I’m definitely not rewriting history. I’m finally telling the truth of my experience. For so many years I tried so hard to be a good girlfriend, and I cared about him and always had his back.”
“I think it’s important for people to understand he wasn’t running a charity for wayward girls or anything — there was definitely a price for living there, and you know, we did a lot to push the brand, and cheerlead for the brand, and I think there’s a whole generation of young women who wouldn’t know what Playboy was if it wasn’t for [the E! reality show] Girls Next Door. I’m definitely grateful for the good things, but I don’t think I owe anyone anything. If you read the book and you see how we were treated over the years — I definitely gave him my best for seven years. And I think I was the best girlfriend anybody could have been. But there just reaches a breaking point.”
Maybe I’m a Holly Madison apologist – I do still like her, quite honestly – but she comes across as pretty matter-of-fact here. Perhaps she does have an axe to grind, but mostly I think she just wanted to tell her story, her version of events, her truth. And yes, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Hefner was and is a manipulative bastard in private.
Photos courtesy of WENN.