Way down the rabbit hole. Girls Next Door star Holly Madison revealed in a new interview on Tuesday, Oct. 6, how she would react if her baby daughter, Rainbow, grew up wanting to be a Playboy Bunny — a role that she herself once held — along with more details about her current strained relationship with her ex-boyfriend Hugh Hefner.
Madison, 35, who shares 2-year-old Rainbow with her husband, Pasquale Rotella, was asked by Yahoo! Parenting if Hefner, 89, had even a remote role in their daughter's life.
"Absolutely not," the author of Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny replied. "When I left the mansion we were cordial for a while, but eventually I opened my eyes to what kind of person he was and we haven’t talked for years. [Parenting is] not something he would be involved in. There are others who have brought their babies to the mansions after they were born, but it’s not something I would do."
Their strained relationship came to light this past summer with the release of Madison's tell-all memoir, exclusively excerpted by Us Weekly in June. The tome detailed the years of psychological and emotional trauma Madison claims she experienced as Hefner's live-in girlfriend.
In her latest interview, Madison reiterated to Yahoo in honor of #NoShameParenting week that the book was written, in part, for her little girl.
"I wanted my side of the story out there. I never had a voice. It was always shaped by the TV show or by Playboy or Hef himself," the former reality star said. "But I want my daughter to know why I made the decisions I did. Since writing the book, I’ve had a lot of practice defending myself and the choices I made, and I think that has been good practice for discussing those decisions with her."
The same applies to Madison's decision to pose nude as a Playboy Bunny. "I get asked about it a lot from people who are considering doing it. I don’t try to talk anyone into it or out of it, but I do want them to know that before you make the decision, you should consider the ramifications," Madison reflected. "While you are doing it, it might seem fine, but years later you don’t necessarily want those pics out there, and they don’t go away. Plus, one thing I’ve learned is that if people know you’ve posed nude for anything, they want to take your choices away in different contexts. So, because you’ve done it before, they assume you’ll pose nude for anything, anytime, anywhere."
Madison provided one example. "I was shooting a commercial that had a gag where there was implied nudity — I was never actually nude," she recalled. "Then while we were filming they said, ‘Why don’t we take a behind-the-scenes photo with you in your underwear?’ and I said no. People assume that because I’ve been in Playboy that it’s okay — I’ll be nude anywhere. But a woman’s body is her own, a man’s is his own, and when we feel okay being naked is different for everybody. Some might feel okay in a locker room but not in public, or in Playboy but not a different publication. It’s a choice and everyone is entitled to the choice. I feel like once you’ve posed nude, suddenly people assume your body is always fair game."
Madison — now married to entrepreneur Rotella — said she doesn't want her baby girl to make the same mistakes. In fact, mama Madison would be disappointed if Rainbow wanted to become a Playboy Bunny.
"I would not be okay with it," she mused. "When she is an adult, she will be able to do what she wants, but from day one I’ve tried to raise her to know she has value, her body parts have value, and she doesn’t have to do something cheap or tawdry to get attention. If she wanted to [be a Bunny] — and God forbid she did — I would tell her my whole experience with it and I’d be honest that it wasn’t what I thought it would be."
Madison hopes to impart those same values to future offspring, too. "I feel more pressure from my husband!" she said of expanding their brood. "We definitely want more kids and I think it will happen next year. Our immediate plan was to have another baby before Rainbow turned 2 — I didn’t want her to remember being an only child, because I didn’t want her to get spoiled, but it didn’t work out that way. Now I’m glad we waited a little bit longer. Rainbow is potty-trained, so we won’t have to do the two-diaper thing, which is nice. You realize when you become a mom how valuable your time is, and it’s been great to have these two and a half years to really get to know Rainbow."
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