We’re left with a giant bunny-shaped void in the wake of Hugh Hefner’s passing at the age of 91 on Wednesday, Sept. 27. While many are mourning the death of the Playboy founder, there’s one person we don’t expect to come forward with a tribute: Holly Madison.
Since her breakup from Hef in 2008, the former Girls Next Door star has been outwardly critical of her ex in the press. She let all of those feelings spill onto the page in her 2015 tell-all, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny, which was filled with not-so-flattering details about the mogul.
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Kendra Wilkinson later accused Holly of making many of these details up, but the fact remains — there was no love lost between Holly and Hef. Read on below for a look back at some of her more shocking quotes about the late star.
“Like Beauty locked up in the Beast’s castle, I developed my own brand of Stockholm syndrome, identifying with my captor.”
“Hef did not miss a beat: ‘Okay, that’s good,’ he said, nonchalantly. ‘Usually, I don’t approve of drugs, but you know, in the ‘70s they used to call these pills thigh openers.’” — on turning down his offer to take Quaaludes.
“I learned Hef was the manipulator and that he pitted us against one another. I realized I wasn’t treated well. I’m done being afraid of people. I don’t have any loyalty to Hef.”
“The will stated that $3,000,000 would be bestowed to Holly Madison at the time of his death (provided I still lived in the Mansion) … I couldn’t help but be offended. Did he really think he could buy me?” — on finding his will.
“I think [Hef] thinks I'm doing it for fame because he can't grasp the fact that a woman would have a message and a story to tell.” — on her choice to write a memoir.
"There was zero intimacy involved. No kissing, nothing. It was so brief that I can't even recall what it felt like beyond having a heavy body on top of mine." — on their first sexual encounter.
“Needless to say, for me, sex was never the highlight of the relationship.” — on sex with the mogul.
“During movie nights, he would lean over to me to explain the plot lines and time periods in the most condescending of ways.” — on his constant mansplaining.
“Frankly speaking, I’ve always been pretty uncomfortable with Hef’s fascination with extremely young women. He was obsessed with women looking as young as humanly possible. Everything — absolutely everything — about that skeeved me out.”
“[He made me feel] beyond ugly…maybe I was just the homely girl who was ‘lucky’ enough for Hef to allow into the mansion.” — on her reaction to Hef telling her she “looked old, hard, and cheap.”
“I honestly don’t care what he thinks. He’s always had a chance to tell his side of the story through the TV show, which he controlled, or the articles about us in his magazines. We were always used as accessories to glamorize his life, that was basically what our job was living there as girlfriends.” — on his reaction to her tell-all.
“Things got better after the show started because Hef really values fame and values the opportunity to spread his propaganda through the show. We were kept very tightly under wraps and we didn’t have freedom, but we were valued and treated a little bit better.”
“Without the dynamic of the other multiple girlfriends to play off of, Hef’s true colors really came out. He started to get really snappish and verbally abusive with me. I had been able to overlook so many things in the relationship, but when he finally verbalized how he truly was, and I realized he wasn’t that nice of a guy, I really woke up.” — on choosing to leave the mansion.
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