When Hugh Hefner died at age 91 in September 2017, no one could have predicted that, less than one month later, the #MeToo movement swept through Hollywood – exposing years of sexual abuse by some of the industry’s most high-profile men.
The late Playboy magazine founder, who held sex-fueled parties at the historic LA mansion he lived in from 1971 until his death, would have surely not survived if he had lived any longer, according to his third and last wife, Crystal Hefner, 37.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Crystal said that her husband died ‘just in time’ – adding that the mansion would have ‘absolutely not’ have survived the powerful #MeToo movement.
‘I’ve thought about this because #MeToo happened, literally, a month after he passed away. He left Earth just in time,’ Crystal – who released her memoir Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy on Tuesday – said.
Crystal Hefner, 37, told DailyMail.com in an exclusive sit-down interview (pictured) that the late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died ‘just in time’ – one month before the #MeToo movement
Hugh (pictured with Playboy bunnies) died at age 91 on September 27, 2017. On October 16, Alyssa Milano, 51, called for an end to sexual abuse on Twitter, which launched the movement
‘He left earth just in time,’ the former Playmate told DailyMail.com, adding that her late husband and the empire he built would ‘absolutely not’ have survived #MeToo
‘I feel that the mansion was so unique and couldn’t be replicated. It was like this weird social experiment at it’s time, but I don’t know how he would have held up during the #MeToo,’ the former Playboy cover model added.
Although Crystal is adamant that the Playboy empire would ‘absolutely not’ have continued after Hef’s passing, she did not believe that her late husband would have suffered the same fate as Harvey Weinstein, the powerful film producer who is now serving 23 years in prison for rape and sexual abuse.
The model reveals all in her new memoir, Only Say Good Things
‘I never saw [Hef] as like a predator. But I do remember like the Cosby stuff started coming out, like while I was at the mansion, and Hef knew about that,’ Crystal said, referring to the 60 women who had come forward by 2015 to accuse actor and comedian Bill Cosby of drugging and raping them.
In her book, Crystal revealed that she used to ‘find girls’ for sex orgies with herself and the late magazine mogul during their marriage.
She described how Hugh liked to have ‘at least five girls’ at the same time when they would get intimate in the bedroom.
She told DailyMail.com during the sit-down that she never had sex with her late husband alone during their marriage, which lasted from 2012 until he died.
‘I was afraid. He was used to some kind of show, some kind of circus up there. So, like, just me? That’s not enough. It’s easy to feel not enough there,’ Crystal painfully recalled.
The former Playmate also admitted that it had been a ‘relief’ to recruit other women to have sex with Hef, so that she would not have to be ‘sexual with him all alone’ – an admission that has caused some backlash among fans.
Crystal told DailyMail.com that she ‘was afraid’ to have sex with Hugh alone. Their sex always included several other women (photographed in 2012)
Hugh and his Playboy bunnies at London airport for the opening of the new Playboy Club, which opened its doors in 1966
‘I feel that people are trying to put something on me that, you know, doesn’t really apply. It’s not like we went out to like bars really, or anything like that. So many girls would come to the mansion and so many girls would just be like all over Hef and wanting to go upstairs,’ she said.
‘People just flocked. So I didn’t really have to do anything. It was endless. It was to the point where I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, okay.” It was it was hard.’
The blonde beauty, who told DailyMaill.com that she has recently decided change her last name from Hefner back to her maiden name, Harris, wrote in her book that she was ‘never in love’ with her last husband.
She told DailyMail.com that she did not believe that he was in love with her either.
‘I think he loved me the best he knew how. I think that he loved sex and he loved himself the most,’ Crystal said with a laugh.
After years of therapy, which Crystal said was necessary for her to heal after leaving her 10-year stay at the mansion, she was able to still laugh at some of the madness that occurred there.
One of the absurdities was the mirrored ceiling above Hef’s rotating bed, where decades of orgies occurred.
‘I always wondered, “How is that mirror fastened to the ceiling? Probably barely,”‘ she joked to DailyMail.com in her candid sit-down.
In her tell-all, she wrote that there were so many women vying for the chance to be with Hef underneath the mirror on the rotating love mattress.
‘There were always so many girls eager for a turn in Hugh Hefner’s bed, sidling up to me at every party, desperate to be picked. I felt torn – part of me wanted to turn them down for their own good. But I also knew it was going to be someone coming up, so it might as well be someone who really wanted to go,’ she wrote.
‘Sometimes they would try to stick around, hanging on Hef and sucking up to him. There seemed to be an endless stream of women desperate to get into the mansion; it never slowed down.
‘And it solidified the feeling even more that I couldn’t possibly walk away. The more other people wanted what I had, the tighter I clung to it. When somebody stuck around for any length of time, I’d try to find out what they wanted. Girlfriend? Playmate? What?’
The model, who was married to Hugh until his death at the age of 91 in 2017, made it clear that she did not enjoy the group sex encounters with her husband and the other women.
She wrote: ‘Here I was in the Playboy Mansion, in Hugh Hefner’s bed with Hugh Hefner inside me, beautiful naked women surrounding me, and there was nothing sexy about it.
‘This wasn’t about making love. It was about power and control and leverage. It was a performance. I was auditioning for a part. I thought it was about my power.
‘After a while he was just done, no climax, just done. Suddenly he waved us off of him, almost pushing us to the side….’, she wrote.
Crystal continued that he would ‘finish the job’ by himself and as his face ‘contorted as if he was in pain,’ she ‘panicked’ that he was ‘having some kind of eighty-one-year-old-man attack,’ but he was okay.
‘It was the strangest five seconds of my life. He gave us each a little pat on the shoulder. “You can stay the night in here if you want to, and you’re welcome to spend the weekend with me and my babies,”‘ she penned in her book.
In the memoir, Crystal shared more details about living at the Playboy Mansion – famously populated by Playboy ‘bunnies’ hand-picked by Hugh himself – including how her husband had a ‘cruel streak,’ and had been addicted to Viagra and painkillers.
Hugh passed away aged 91 on September 27, 2017, as a result of heart failure and septicemia after contracting a deadly strain of e-coli, leaving a reported $43 million fortune.
Less than a month later, on October 16, 2017, actress Alyssa Milano took a stand on social media against sexual abuse – lighting the path for women worldwide to come forward.
The Who’s The Boss actress tweeted, ‘If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote #MeToo as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.’
A-list actresses – including Jennifer Lawrence, Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman – shared their own experiences and #MeToo was born.