Former Playmates open up about 'cult-like' life with Hugh Hefner at Playboy Mansion

·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

A number of former Playboy models have spoken out about what life was like at the infamous Playboy Mansion, accusing Playboy tycoon Hugh Hefner of creating a "cult-like" environment.

Speaking in the upcoming documentary Secrets of Playboy, Mika Garcia, former director of Playmate promotions, said: "It was cult-like. The women had been groomed and led to believe they were part of this family."

"He [Hefner] really did believe he owned these women" Garcia added, with former model Sondra Theodore claiming that it became "protocol" to have orgies at the mansion five nights a week per Hefner's demands.

"The group sex was at least five nights a week" Theodore alleges in the documentary. "They had a protocol. He liked to direct and you didn't segue away from it because you could tell it irritated him."

In her interview, the now 65-year-old says she witnessed first-hand how Hefner's behaviour could change if he didn't get what he wanted, admitting that he "scared me at the end... you couldn't satisfy him. He wanted more and more and more." She also alleges that the magazine magnate ordered her to pickup illegal drugs on "numerous" occasions, and of their intimate relations said "[the sex] broke me like you'd break a horse."

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Her feelings were echoed by fellow former Playmate Holly Madison, who moved into the Playboy Mansion in 2001 when she was 21-years-old. In the documentary, Madison, who dated Hefner despite criticism of their 54-year age gap, accused him of refusing "to use protection".

Speaking about how her mental health was impacted by her time at the mansion, Madison said "I remember there were times probably within the first couple years I lived there when I felt like I was just in this cycle of gross things and I didn’t know what to do" – before adding that the Playboy bunny lifestyle left her contemplating suicide.

Secrets of Playboy is set to air later this month, on 24 January, on A&E and will take a closer look into what life was really like behind the closed doors of the world's most famous mansion – and the man who was at the centre of it all.

"The facade of Playboy appeared idyllic; but when the curtain was lifted, its dark secrets were revealed. A&E’s #SecretsofPlayboy unveils the mansion’s mysteries," the channel said of the much-anticipated documentary.

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