Cooper Hefner has spoken out to defend his late father Hugh Hefner after the Playboy founder’s former girlfriends came forward to accuse him of grooming them, drugging them, and running a ‘cult-like atmosphere at his mansion.
The 30-year-old Playboy heir took to Twitter to clap back at the ‘salacious stories’ about his father just one day before the January 24 premiere of A&E’s docuseries ‘Secrets of Playboy,’ though he didn’t name the show or the network.
‘Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar,’ he wrote. ‘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.’
Cooper Hefner, 30, took to Twitter to clap back at the ‘salacious stories’ about his father Hugh Hefner just one day before the January 24 premiere of ‘Secrets of Playboy’
The A&E docuseries lifts the lid on the ‘dark underbelly’ of Playboy and how its venues became a seedy playground for drug use, sexual abuse, and bestiality
Cooper didn’t name the show or the network in his tweet, but he insisted ‘these salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge’
‘Secrets of Playboy’ promises to lift the lid on the ‘dark underbelly’ of Playboy and how its venues became a seedy playground for drug use, sexual abuse, and even bestiality.
The 10-part series features exclusive interviews with insiders, including Hugh’s ex-girlfriends Sondra Theodore and Holly Madison, who calls the mansion ‘very cult-like’ in one shocking trailer.
As DailyMail.com exclusively revealed, the ‘Secrets of Playboy’ details how Hugh demanded orgies five nights a week, drugged women with ‘leg spreader’ Quaaludes, and hosted weekly ‘Pig Nights’ with ‘ugly’ prostitutes.
‘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,’ says Madison in the series. ‘And you started to feel like, “Oh, he’s not what they say in the media, he’s just a nice man.”‘
Hugh and his second wife, 1989 Playmate of the Year Kimberly Conrad, are pictured with their sons Marston and Cooper in 1994
Cooper (pictured with his father in 2012) said the Playboy founder was ‘generous in nature’ and was ‘not a liar’
Hugh stepped down from Playboy in 2016 and died the following year at age 91. Cooper took over for his father and briefly ran the business
Madison, now 42, moved into the Playboy mansion in 2000 at age 21 and went on to become Hugh’s main girlfriend. They dated from 2001 to 2008, and she says he refused to use protection during sex.
Cooper ran the business until his family sold its 35 percent stake in 2018
She admits that at one point she began feeling suicidal, but starring in the E! reality TV series The Girls Next Door gave her her self-esteem back.
‘It was so easy to get isolated from the outside world there,’ she explains. ‘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.’
Theodore, now 65, details how there was group sex at the mansion five nights a week, which ‘broke me like you’d break a horse.’
Hugh would also host weekly ‘Pig Nights’ during which he would he would bring in a dozen ‘ugly’ prostitutes to have sex with his friends.
VIP members of the Playboy nightclubs could do as they pleased, including revered Soul Train host Don Cornelius who allegedly held two Playboy bunnies hostage and raped one of them, according to the docuseries.
The documentary is a critical reexamination of the legacy of the iconic Playboy publisher
Hugh, who launched the first edition of Playboy in 1953, had fashioned himself as a champion of freedom of sexuality and freedom of speech in a repressive post-war era
By the 1970s, Playboy had taken off and Hugh opened up dozens of Playboy clubs where members gained entry using a key. He is seen with an entourage of Playboy Bunnies in 1966
The series also includes interviews with Linda Lovelace, the 1970s porn star who found fame with the film ‘Deep Throat.’ She says she was treated like a ‘piece of meat’ and forced to perform oral sex on a German Shepherd while Hugh and his friends watched.
The documentary is a critical reexamination of the legacy of the iconic Playboy publisher, who died in 2017 aged 91.
Hugh was just 27 years old when he launched the first edition of Playboy magazine in 1953. Featuring Marilyn Monroe on the cover, the first issue sold more than 50,000 copies and spawned an empire that spanned decades.
By the 1970s, Playboy was selling seven million copies a month and Hugh opened up dozens of Playboy clubs where members gained entry using a key that literally opened the front door.
Playboy insiders who were interviewed for the documentary claim the mansion had a ‘cult-like’ atmosphere thanks to Hugh
The docuseries details how Hugh demanded orgies five nights a week, drugged women with ‘leg spreader’ Quaaludes, and hosted weekly ‘Pig Nights’ with ‘ugly’ prostitutes
Former Playboy Bunny Mother PJ Masten speaks of the ‘depravity’ that took place at Playboy’s venues, recalling how porn star Lisa Lovelace was once drugged and forced to perform oral sex on a dog
Hugh fashioned himself as a champion of freedom of sexuality and freedom of speech in a repressive post-war era. But the backlash began in the 1970s with the feminist movement which decried his objectification of women.
The founder stepped down in 2016, a year before his death. His son Cooper ran the business until his family sold its 35 percent stake to a tech-focused investment fund in 2018.
In recent years Playboy has struggled to stay relevant — the magazine stopped printing physical copies in 2020 — and many former Playmates have spoken out against the culture in the wake of the MeToo movement.
‘Secrets of Playboy’ is arguably the most damning portrayal so far and has extensive interviews with many of Hefner’s former close associates and Playboy Bunnies.
According to Miki Garcia, former director of Playmate promotions: ‘It was cult-like. The women had been groomed and led to believe they were part of this family. He [Hugh] really did believe he owned these women.
‘We had Playmates that overdosed, that committed suicide.’
Playboy Bunny Holly Madison moved into the Playboy mansion in 2000 at age 21 and became his main girlfriend. They dated from 2001 to 2008
Madison (pictured in 2003) recall in the series how Hugh refused to use protection during sex, saying she eventually got caught up in ‘cycle of gross things’ and ‘didn’t know what to do’
Madison, now 42, admits that at one point she began feeling suicidal, but starring in the E! reality TV series The Girls Next Door gave her her self-esteem back
A few days before the ‘Secrets of Playboy’ premiere, Playboy released an open letter distancing the brand from Hugh and the allegations of his ‘abhorrent actions.’
‘First and foremost, we want to say: we trust and validate women and their stories, and we strongly support the individuals who have come forward to share their experiences,’ the letter reads. ‘As a brand with sex positivity at its core, we believe safety, security, and accountability are paramount, and anything less is inexcusable.
‘As you know, the Hefner family is no longer associated with Playboy, and today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy.’
The PLBY Group noted that its organization is now made up of more than 80 percent female employees, saying it is ‘building upon the aspects of our legacy that have made a positive impact, including serving as a platform for free expression and a convener of safe conversations on sex, inclusion, and freedom.
Sondra Theodore, a former model and actress who dated Hefner in the late 1970s and 80s, details how there was group sex at the mansion five nights a week, which ‘broke me like you’d break a horse’
Theodore, now 65, says she ‘watched girl after girl show up, fresh-faced, adorable, and their beauty just washed away’ due to the toxic environment at Playboy
A few days before the ‘Secrets of Playboy’ premiere, Playboy released an open letter distancing the brand from Hugh and the allegations of his ‘abhorrent actions’
‘We will continue to confront any parts of our legacy that do not reflect our values today, and to build upon the progress we have made as we evolve as a company so we can drive positive change for you and our communities.
‘Please join us in doing the most important thing we can do right now — listen,’ the leadership team continued.
‘It is critically important that we listen as these women share their stories and that we continue to fight harassment and discrimination in all its forms, support healing and education, redefine tired and sexist definitions of beauty and advocate for inclusivity across gender, sexuality, race, age, ability, and zip codes.’
The letter concluded that its team has ‘avenues for care’ and suggested the Sexual Assault Hotline or BetterHelp for anyone needing assistance.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk