Hugh Hefner’s son defends Playboy founder ahead of shocking doc: ‘A case study of regret becoming revenge’
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Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner is defending the late Playboy founder ahead of a new docuseries that reveals several shocking allegations.
The A&E 10-part documentary titled “Secrets of Playboy” is airing Monday night and features new interviews with numerous members of Hefner’s staff and inner circle, as well as past girlfriends. Hefner died in 2017 at age 91.
While Cooper didn’t name the show or the network specifically, he took to Twitter to criticize the recent “salacious stories” about his father.
“Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar,” the 30-year-old tweeted. “However unconventional, he was sincere in his approach and lived honestly. He was generous in nature and cared deeply for people. These salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge.”
In the months leading up to the premiere, A&E has released various trailers teasing what’s to come. In one clip, former Playboy Bunny Holly Madison called Hefner’s famed Playboy Mansion “very cult-like.”
The 42-year-old dated the mogul from 2001 until 2008.
“The reason I think the mansion was very cult-like looking back on it is because we were all kind of gaslit and expected to think of Hef as like this really good guy,” Madison said in one clip. “And you started to feel like, ‘Oh, he’s not what they say in the media, he’s just a nice man.'”
“It was so easy to get isolated from the outside world there,” she continued. “You had a 9 o’clock curfew. You were encouraged to not have friends over. You weren’t really allowed to leave unless it was like a family holiday.”
Sondra Theodore, one of Hefner’s ex-girlfriends who spoke out in the docuseries, alleged to Fox News that Hefner manipulated her into participating in an orgy. She also claimed Hefner hosted “Pig Night” where, allegedly, prostitutes were brought up for sex parties.
Theodore met Hefner when she was 19 and he was 50.
“The last year of our relationship was the scariest for me,” Theodore alleged. “He started taking acid every night and he would put it in my mouth. I would wait until he turned around and then spit it out because it was way too intense for me. Way too much. And it lasted so long. When sex was done, he’d say, ‘Now it’s time to have dinner and watch a movie.’”
“And then he’d go to sleep,” she continued. “I thought, ‘How can he do that? How can he just turn this powerful drug off?’ I never saw him drunk. Never, ever slurred. I just thought he made a deal with the devil. And I know it may sound crazy, but I could see the devil in him and it would scare me.”
Sondra Theodore and Hugh Hefner.
(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
“… But by then, I was just so over it,” Theodore shared. “I was going to be 25 and I started questioning him. He didn’t like that. He didn’t like to be challenged in any way. So I was an easy replacement. And I was ready. I was becoming difficult. I was trying to hold him accountable, but he didn’t want to hear any of that. He just wanted the story to continue. So he kept replaying the same story with a new face.”
In response to the doc, a spokesperson for Playboy issued a statement to Fox News.
“Today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy,” the statement began. “We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences. As a brand with sex positivity at its core, we believe safety, security, and accountability are paramount.”
“The most important thing we can do right now is actively listen and learn from their experiences,” it continued. “We will never be afraid to confront the parts of our legacy as a company that do not reflect our values today.”
Cooper Hefner (L) and Hugh Hefner pose at Playboy’s 60th Anniversary special event on January 16, 2014, in Los Angeles, California.
(Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy)
“As an organization with a more than 80% female workforce, we are committed to our ongoing evolution as a company and to driving positive change for our communities,” the statement concluded.
“Secrets of Playboy” premieres January 24 at 9 p.m. ET.
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