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Crystal Hefner Tells Stepson Marston What Attracted Her to ‘Magnetic’ Hugh Hefner: 1st Look (Exclusive)

Crystal Hefner is opening up to stepson Marston Hefner about what drew her to his father and her late husband, Hugh Hefner.

In a first look at the inaugural episode of her “Beneath the Surface” podcast — shared exclusively with Us Weekly — Crystal, 37, recalls meeting the Playboy founder. (The episode airs in full on Friday, December 1.)

“It was exciting. I lived in San Diego. I had never seen a celebrity in my life, and I got invited to go to a party and I submitted my photos and I honestly didn’t think I was pretty enough to go,” she tells Marston, 33, in the clip. “I was like, they’ll never pick me, but they did, and I went up [to the Playboy mansion] and I remember a swarm of people came from the house to an empty cabana.”

Crystal explains that the “super extroverted” friend she attended the party with “dragged” her over to the fray. “[My friend] was like, ‘That’s Hugh Hefner.’ I saw everyone flocking to him and it was just sparkly and twinkly and he was very nice,” she shares.

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After Marston chimes in to say that his dad “was awesome,” Crystal agrees: “Yeah. He was very magnetic and that’s how I felt. I felt like I was in this magnetic pull.”

Crystal Hefner Tells Stepson What Attracted Her to His Magnetic Dad Hugh Hefner
Tracey Lyn

Crystal began dating Hugh, who was 60 years her senior, in 2009. The pair got engaged in December 2010, but Crystal called off the engagement five days before their planned wedding in June 2011. She and Hugh later reconciled and tied the knot on New Year’s Eve in 2012. Crystal remained married to Hugh until his death at age 91 in September 2017.

Despite Crystal’s fond recollection of Hugh during her conversation with Marston, the model previously spoke about the dark side of life in the Playboy mansion.

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“Your value is what you look like [at the Mansion]. I was rewarded for being codependent and feeling like I was nothing without Hef and had no value of my own,” Crystal exclusively told Us Weekly in August while promoting her upcoming memoir, Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself, which is due out in 2024.

Crystal Hefner Tells Stepson What Attracted Her to His Magnetic Dad Hugh Hefner
Crystal Hefner and HMH Foundation

Crystal added that seeing a therapist after Hugh’s death helped her unpack the trauma she’d endured during their marriage.

“Therapy really helped. You start backtracking and [noticing] different behaviors,” she explained. “I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s gaslighting. That’s narcissism.’ It took years for me to understand what I went through, understand myself and also understand Hef and why he did certain things.”

Although Crystal has a complicated history with Hugh, she has the utmost respect for Marston.

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“We’ve spent a lot of time together in such a unique environment. He is one of my favorite people. He’s just so kindhearted, loves and supports everybody,” she says of her stepson in the podcast sneak peek. “We’ve had some interesting experiences together in a very unconventional place.”

Elsewhere in the episode, the former Playboy Playmate opens up about her dating experience since Hugh’s death.

“Everyone assumed that I wanted to date people that were your dad’s age after,” she tells Marston. “I was like, ‘OK, I should probably get somebody closer to my age.’ I’ve been in a couple relationships and they’ve been [with people] — which is interesting — a couple years or a few years younger [than me].”

Crystal then admits that dating is “really hard” after feeling “like I lived the same day for 10 years” when she was with Hugh.

The first episode of “Beneath the Surface” debuts on all podcast platforms Friday, December 1.

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