The claim was in A&E’s news docuserie “I segreti di Playboy,” which features explosive new interviews with past girlfriends, along with numerous members of Hefner’s staff and inner circle. The 10-episode show debuted Monday night with a two-hour special.
“There were so many similarities with the way the girls followed everything he said, and we were all one big happy family,” ex-girlfriend Sondra Theodore alleged, come citato da Us Weekly.
Secondo l'outlet, one photographer even alleged that the Playboy founder had obtained home videos of the infamous Manson family that was filmed before their 1969 murder spree.
Miki Garcia, who was a Playmate and head of promotions from 1973 per 1982, also described the Playboy Mansion as “cult-like.”
“The women had been groomed and led to believe they were part of this family,” Garcia claimed, come citato dall'outlet. “And he really did believe he owned these women. We had Playmates that overdosed. There were Playmates that committed suicide.”
Former girlfriend Holly Madison, who also spoke out in the documentary, had also described the Playboy Mansion as “cult-like.”
“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,” the 42-year-old alleged. “And you started to feel like, 'Oh, he’s not what they say in the media, he’s just a nice man.'”
“It was so easy to get isolated from the outside world there,” ha continuato. “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.”
Alexandra Dean, the director behind “I segreti di Playboy,” also told Yahoo! Divertimento that the term “cult” came up frequently during her interviews.
“At first I didn’t know about the cult word, sai, I was a little skeptical,” Dean explained to the outlet. “But I kept hearing it from different women over the decades so I knew I had to take it seriously. And then I put something in Episode 2 to kind of explain to you why I did take it so seriously and include it and that’s the fascination Hef had with Charles Manson … it was very profound and multiple people told me about it.”
Manson was convicted of ordering the brutal murders of seven people in 1969, including actress Sharon Tate. È morto nel 2017 behind bars at age 83.
“I didn’t really get to get into it very much in the episode, ma, sai, [Hefner] was close with Sharon Tate,” Dean continued. “So it’s really weird that he held up Charles Manson on this sort of pedestal and was studying him because Manson had just killed his friend. It was really bizarre and chilling.”
Secondo Dean, Theodore told her that Hefner “would study” il libro “Helter Skelter,” which was written by Vincent T. Bugliosi Jr. who prosecuted Manson and his followers.
“Other people told me about Hef studying [Manson] home videos and having them in his personal library,” said Dean. It was like, ok, Hef is intentionally cribbing off of this guy — and he’s obviously not a coldblooded murderer. What he’s cribbing off of is this control of the women. That’s what we try to show is that there’s this thing that Hef does, which is very controlling that he seems to have honed over the decades.”
In response to the doc, un portavoce di Playboy ha rilasciato una dichiarazione a Fox News.
“Il Playboy di oggi non è il Playboy di Hugh Hefner,” è iniziata la dichiarazione. “Ci fidiamo e convalidiamo queste donne e le loro storie e supportiamo fortemente quelle persone che si sono fatte avanti per condividere le loro esperienze. Come marchio con al centro la positività sessuale, crediamo nella sicurezza, sicurezza, e la responsabilità sono fondamentali.”
“La cosa più importante che possiamo fare in questo momento è ascoltare attivamente e imparare dalle loro esperienze,” ha continuato. “Non avremo mai paura di confrontarci con le parti della nostra eredità come azienda che non riflettono i nostri valori oggi.”
“Come organizzazione con più di 80% forza lavoro femminile, siamo impegnati nella nostra continua evoluzione come azienda e nel guidare un cambiamento positivo per le nostre comunità,” la dichiarazione concludeva.
Hefner’s son Cooper also took to Twitter to defend his late father.
“Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar,” the 30-year-old tweeted. “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.”
Hefner passed away in 2017 all'età 91.