The Playboy Mansion was once thought of as a glamorous escape, presided over by Hugh Hefner and his young, and typically blonde, paramours. But what was it like to actually live there? Several former Playmates have come forward with their stories of what it was like to live in the Playboy Mansion.
Playmates who lived in the Playboy Mansion have shared tales of carpets encrusted with dog excrement, unhygienic-sounding group-pleasure sessions, and shady methods of payment. If you're wondering what living in the Playboy Mansion was like, it was less parties in the grotto and more trying to figure out how to get through that gate.
Hugh Hefner's ex, Izabella St. James, detailed the disgusting living conditions and dog-poop covered carpets in her book Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion:
Hef did not care about our carpets: the one in his bedroom had not been changed for years. It was literally the color of diarrhea. It became significantly worse when Holly moved in with her first dog and then got another. The dogs were not housebroken and relieved themselves on the carpet. Many a late night or early morning we stepped in her dog's pee, or worse, poop.
Holly Madison entered the national spotlight thanks to the E! reality show The Girls Next Door . She was known as Hef's main girlfriend, but that position caused her stress and despair. She turned to illicit substances and alcohol to cope with the challenges she encountered living in the Playboy Mansion. Madison candidly discussed her dark days in her book Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny :
The depths of my own depression had led me down this very dark path, and there was no gleaming light, however distant, at the end of this tunnel. Maybe it was the pot and the alcohol, but drowning myself seemed a logical way to escape the ridiculous life I was leading.
According to Carla Howe, one of Playboy's Howe Twins, she and her fellow Bunnies are made to adhere to stringent house rules. Of her time in the mansion, she said:
When you're here you have to be in by the 9 p.m. curfew. You're not allowed to invite any friends up to see you.
Ex-Hef girlfriend Izabella St. James divulged how much money the women in the Playboy Mansion received in Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion. Apparently, Bunnies were given an allowance of $1,000 a week, though the system was anything but organized. They had to go to Hugh Hefner's bedroom once per week and ask for the cash:
Life was so unstable at the Mansion that we always felt that we had to get [the allowance] right then, because we did not know if we would be there tomorrow.
Hef also apparently used the allowance as a means of exerting control:
Hef used the occasion as an excuse to bring up whatever he wasn't happy with in the relationship. He put us on the spot, making us feel uncomfortable. He would tell us what needed to be changed and speak to the other girls about it.
Although he always told us that we were his family and he gave it to us out of love, we often felt like the allowance was not given out of concern or generosity. He used it as a [tool] to make sure we would never leave.