“Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar,” Cooper Hefner, the 30-year-old son of the late Hugh Hefner, tweeted on Sunday (Jan. 23), a day before the premiere of the A&E docuseries, Secrets of Playboy. The ten-part series aims to uncover the secrets and truths behind Playboy and the world built around the publication. While Cooper didn’t name the network or series, he did take a swipe at those who would tell “stories” about his father. “However unconventional, [Hugh] 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.”
Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar. 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 (@cooperhefner) January 23, 2022
In a preview of Secrets of Playboy, Holly Madison – who dated Hugh from 2001 to 2008 – said that life within the Playboy Mansion was “very cult-like.” Holly, 42, attributed that mentality to being “kind-of gaslit and expected to think of Hef as this really good guy. And you started to feel like, ‘Oh, he’s not what they say in the media, he’s just a nice man.’ ” Holly also said that she and the other women who lived at the mansion were isolated from the rest of the world. “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.”
“Hef would be pretty abrasive in the way he said things to Holly,” Bridget Marquardt, who also dated Hugh, said in another preview clip. “She came down with red lipstick one night and he flipped out and said he hated red lipstick on girls, [and told her], ‘You need to take it off right way,’ even though other people could wear red lipstick and it didn’t seem to bother him.”
Hugh died in 2017 at the age of 91. Ahead of the docuseries, Playboy issued a statement (h/t People): “Today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy. Together we are 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.”
Secrets of Playboy will offer an “unflinching look” at Hugh Hefner’s empire, and the legacy of his influence on modern-day views of sexuality. The series will also feature interviews with Hugh’s personal valet Stefan Tetenbaum, Playboy Mansion West resident Jennifer Saginor, former “Bunny Mother” PJ Masten, former Director of Playmate Promotions Miki Garcia, and Hugh’s former girlfriends, including Bridget, Holly, and Sondra Theodore.