She's a wide open book. Holly Madison spoke to Us Weekly Video exclusively about what exactly went on inside Hugh Hefner's bedroom at the Playboy Mansion back when she was one of his chosen girlfriends.
Madison's shocking new tell-all memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny, details the years of verbal abuse she allegedly endured while living with the Playboy founder in his legendary mansion.
"When I first started going to parties at the mansion, it was very glamorous," Madison told Us' Ingrid Meilan last month at her L.A. home. "I was still in college and very starstruck. I am happy to be able to finally set the record straight."
Madison, now 35, first met Hefner at L.A.'s Las Palmas nightclub in August 2001, when she was 21 years old. The Astoria, Oregon, native (population 9,477), was a struggling actress at the time Hefner propositioned her, and offered her drugs. In her memoir, Madison wrote that she wanted to "scream 'PAUSE!' and freeze-frame that moment of my life."
After all, Madison went home with Hefner — and his other women. "This book is a chance for me to finally tell people how things really were in my life,” she explained. Madison added in her memoir: "I want to grab that young girl, shake her back into reality and scream, 'What the hell are you thinking?'"
While speaking with Us, Madison detailed what exactly happened that fateful evening inside Hef's bedroom. "The first night I had spent at the Playboy Mansion was definitely very eye-opening," she shared. "It was clear that there was certain things expected of you. It was clear that there was a definite routine going on, and it was very bizarre. It definitely wasn't what I expected it to be, it was a lot scarier. I was offered prescription drugs."
"I don't know what people think goes on in the bedroom," she continued in her conversation with Us, "but it was always very much the same, and intimidating, and not something that I liked. It was a miserable part of my life."
In her memoir excerpted by Us in the June 22 issue, Madison shared that the girls first dipped their feet into a black bathtub before slipping into pink flannel pajamas. "Two huge television screens projecting graphic porn lit up the otherwise dark bed. In the middle, a very pale man was tending to his own business (if you're catching my thinly veiled innuendo) and puffing on a joint before passing it around to the nearest blonde. The girlfriends, in various stages of undress, were sitting in a semicircle at the edge of the bed — some kneeling, some standing, some lying down."
Several weeks after that night, Madison moved in, and for years, competed with her fellow Playmates for Hefner's affection. "There was a lot of politics inside the mansion," Madison told Us. "Very catty, very competitive, a kind of scary place to live."
Then, she discovered that Hef was the enemy. "He just encouraged it because it made him feel special," she told Us. "Looking back, I see that he was the orchestrator of the whole thing."
Madison further elaborated to Us the alleged verbal abuse and criticism she endured as one of Hef's live-in girlfriends. The star (now married to Pasquale Rotella, with whom she shares 2-year-old daughter Rainbow) said her saving grace was E!'s reality series The Girls Next Door, which also featured Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson.
While Madison's made these claims, Hefner released an exclusive statement to Us Weekly on Sunday, June 21, about his former flame's allegations.
"Over the course of my life I’ve had more than my fair share of romantic relationships with wonderful women," the Playboy founder told Us. "Many moved on to live happy, healthy, and productive lives, and I’m pleased to say remain dear friends today. Sadly, there are a few who have chosen to rewrite history in an attempt to stay in the spotlight. I guess, as the old saying goes: You can’t win 'em all!"
Watch Us Weekly's exclusive video with Madison above for more details on life inside the Playboy Mansion, and pick up a copy of her memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny, out Tuesday, June 23.
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