Hugh Hefner’s Son Hits Back After Holly Madison Accused Him Of Gaslighting In New Playboy Documentary

Hugh Hefner’s son is speaking up in his dad’s defense.

There’s been renewed chatter about life in the Playboy Mansion amidst the upcoming A&E documentary series, Secrets of Playboy. Several members of the magazine mogul’s inner circle participated in the doc, including some ex-girlfriends like Holly Madison. In a recent viral clip, Holly called the mansion “cult like” and claimed that the women there “were all kind of gaslit and expected to think of Hef as like this really good guy.”

It seems that Hef’s son Cooper Hefner had a problem with that gaslighting accusation in particular because he took to Twitter in defense of his late father afterward. The 30-year-old stated:

“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.”

“Regret becoming revenge” sounds like a really disturbing victim-blaming mantra waiting to happen, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately for Cooper, being a “liar” is far from the only thing the notorious womanizer has been accused of. Excerpts from the new doc feature a number of allegations ranging from “abrasive” mistreatment to drugging women for sex. Even the current iteration of Playboy doesn’t stand by their founder’s actions, releasing a statement saying they “trust and validate these women and their stories.”

But Cooper isn’t the only one willing to stick up for the controversial cultural icon. In an interview with Ashleigh Banfield for NewsNation (below), former Playmate Brande Roderick opined:

“For me, I have a real fond love for Hef, he was a wonderful person. I learned about art, I learned about music, you know, big band and jazz, old classic films. I learned grace from Hef, that’s one thing that I learned and got to see firsthand is the way that this major iconic man, who’s super famous, would react with everybody. … He was just so graceful, which is something you don’t see a lot of times from celebrities in Hollywood.”

The 47-year-old claimed that in her time with him Hefner was “very much against drugs,” and said of the young women coming to the mansion:

“How about the girls there preying on these rich men? I mean, come on, that’s ridiculous. … They were all there at their free will: No one was holding a gun to their head.”

Maybe no one literally held a gun to their head, but Holly recalled how the older man pressured her into giving up her job, meaning she relied on him as her only source of income. From what it sounds like, there were other tactics of financial and emotional manipulation that made women feel they were trapped in a relationship with him. Just because there isn’t a literal “gun to your head” doesn’t mean you weren’t coerced.

Still, Brande shared:

“I feel so sad that I even have to defend him because he’s such an amazing person who has done so much for so many people. And the fact that some women are coming out because maybe they have a book coming out, maybe they want 15 more minutes of fame, maybe they’re out of it, whatever, and to do it now, after he’s dead, when he cannot defend himself, to me is disgusting.”

See the whole interview (below):

Well, Hugh is certainly not around to speak for himself, and that is unfortunate. That said… it seems like a lot of the women who lived with him over the years have described similar negative experiences. And it’s not surprising that it might take them a long time to process what they went through — or that they waited until after he was gone, when he could no longer exert power over them — to tell their stories.

But we’ll just have to tune in to the doc to see the full scope of what went on behind the scenes at the Playboy Mansion. Secrets of Playboy premieres Monday night on A&E.

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