A new A&E documentary series, Secrets of Playboy, comes out today. Ahead of the release of the series, several former Playboy Bunnies came forward to talk about what they experienced at the Playboy Mansion.
One woman who came forward was Hugh Hefner’s ex-girlfriend, Sondra Theodore. She told the New York Post, “He was a predator. I watched him, I watched his game. And I watched a lot of girls go through [the Playboy Mansion] gates looking farm-fresh, and leaving looking tired and haggard.”
Secrets of Playboy’s mission was to unveil the atrocities that went on in the Playboy Mansion, stemming from sexual assault to bestiality. Rather than empowering women, this documentary series sheds light on how Hefner built a fortune by taking advantage of vulnerable women.
Underage drinking, drug use, bestiality and assault at the Playboy Mansion
Alexandra Dean directed Secrets of Playboy and spent a long time interviewing and detailing stories from the women who were at the mercy of Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Mansion’s guests.
Even so, Dean says that Sondra Theodore’s revelation was the “most shocking” claim that Dean uncovered.
Theodore began dating Hefner after meeting him at one of his mansion parties in the 1970s. Many women in the docuseries recount guests such as Bill Cosby, Tony Curtis, Wilt Chamberlain, and Arnold Schwarzenegger attending these mansion parties.
Theodore was only 19 when Hefner began pursuing her. He was 50.
Theodore said Hefner “groomed me and twisted my mind into thinking his way was normal. He introduced me to drugs. I’d never had a drink or a drug before going up to the Playboy Mansion. And my first night there I was handed champagne and the drugs came later, and I was underage.”
Among a never-ending supply of cocaine and quaaludes, Theodore was pushed into orgies at least five nights a week and ordered to have sex with a variety of men and women while Hefner watched.
One of the most shocking claims is that Theodore reportedly caught Hefner engaging in sexual acts with her dog.
“I walked in on him with my dog and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ I was shocked,” she said. “He made it seem like it was just a one-time thing, and that he was just goofing off. But I never left him alone with my dog again.”
Unfortunately, Theodore is not the only woman to recount a story like this.
Girls Next Door star Holly Madison compared the Playboy Mansion and Playmates to a cult and said that Hefner refused to use condoms during group sex.
Madison goes further to say that it was gross that he didn’t want to use protection and humiliating to be coerced into an orgy.
Former Playboy bunny mother PJ Masten recounted a graphic scene where Hefner forced a drunk and drugged Linda Lovelace to perform oral sex acts on a German shepherd.
“All the guys were laughing when Linda got out of the limousine,” Masten said. “She was drunk and drugged … They got her so messed up that they made her give the German shepherd oral sex. You wanna talk about depravity? This is despicable.”
Masten herself goes into detail about being sexually assaulted multiple times while employed by Hefner as well as claiming that Bill Cosby drugged and raped her in 1979.
Masten said there was a lot of blood, and she dripped blood all the way out through the hotel lobby.
Many people who have come forward claim that for years, Hefner invited Bill Cosby and other celebrities to the Playboy Mansion to drug and rape women.
Given the heinous accusations, some are skeptical about the legitimacy of these claims since no one came forward earlier.
However, director Alexandra Dean said that it was hard to get people to come forward as they were still scared of what might happen if they spoke out about what happened inside the mansion.
Playboy bunnies fear for their safety after speaking out against Hefner
Some may think the hardest part of creating a documentary is gathering sources and getting interviewees together, but this wasn’t the case for Dean.
For Dean, the hardest part of creating Secrets of Playboy was getting former Playboy bunnies and people linked to Hefner to open up about their experiences at the mansion and what potential atrocities they had endured.
“One of the most striking things about reporting this story was how much fear there was from the contributors about telling the truth, and how slowly they were able to open up,” said Dean. “It was a very slow process. I didn’t want to push the story too far, I really wanted people to tell me what they felt comfortable telling me, and that took a long time.”
However, despite having to relive some of the hardest parts of her life, Theodore said this documentary was a necessary experience. She said, “I feel bad that I did not stand up to Hef about the stuff he did. But I couldn’t, I’d been silenced. For the last 10 years, I’ve been trying to get my story out.”
Theodore and other ex-members of Hefner’s inner circle claim that he had hidden cameras throughout the mansion and threatened to leak video clips “if and when” anyone tried to out him.
Theodore believes if Hefner were alive today, he would accuse her of spreading lies to “rewrite history” and call her bitter. However, Theodore is proud to come forward and proud to “rewrite history.”
“Well, I am rewriting history, Hef,” she said proudly. “I’m righting it.”
The Secrets of Playboy two-hour series premiere airs tonight, January 24, at 9/8c on A&E.