When Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died in 2017 aged 91, he was remembered -- even celebrated by some -- as a father of the sexual revolution. To many, he was the pajama-wearing, pipe-smoking king of a thousand parties -- and, reportedly, a thousand partners -- who, in his own words, "decontaminated the notion of premarital sex." Four years later, insiders are coming forward to share their account of Hefner and his empire for a new documentary series, "Secrets of Playboy," due to air in January on A&E. Initial clips that have been released are grim.
One shows Holly Madison, Hefner's former "number one girlfriend," who dated him from 2001 to 2008, describing his reaction to her cutting her hair short. "He was screaming at me and said it made me look old, hard and cheap," she says. Her recollections -- and others' -- will no doubt shock or disappoint a lot of people. In reality, it's incredible that someone who reportedly exhibited such controlling, patriarchal characteristics -- many of which were well-known before his death -- managed to maintain the reputation of a forward-thinking sexual libertarian for so long.