There aren’t many magazines out there that are more well-known than Hefner’s. Starting out in 1953, thousands of women have taken the step through the mansion doors and bared it all. You don’t get to stick around in an industry like this for so long without being respectful, which is why you’ll be happy to hear that here we have 8 women who were incredibly proud of their experience as a bunny.
But the Playboy empire is far from being free of controversy and we have some of the biggest scandals to ever hit the mansion. Whether it’s these women appearing without their permission, feeling pressured into it or not enjoying certain areas being highlighted, we have the quotes behind some of the most reasonable complaints on Hefner.
It’s so important to also realize that life goes on for these women outside of the magazine. Which means that in some of our highest regrets, you’ll be horrified at what abuse these women went through after the shoot or at the famous Playboy parties. Bill Cosby graphically sexually assaulted two of our candidates, one of whom went on to kill herself, and you better believe we have the details.
There is plenty that the magazine does to try and make these women feel beautiful and respected, but there are also plenty of horror stories that you’re about to learn about.
16. Loved – Jenny McCarthy: Was Playmate Of The Year
Jenny McCarthy has had herself an impressive career, but it all got started back in 1993 when she elected to drop her panties for Hugh Hefner. In fact, the company was such a huge fan of McCarthy that she ended up being named Playmate of the Year.
The experience wasn’t one that didn’t come with some shocking moments though, McCarthy admitted that when she showed off her downstairs that the cast and crew said it was the most amount of hair “down there” that they had ever seen on a model, which McCarthy blamed on her half-Polish heritage!
Despite the embarrassing moment, it still ended up being an incredibly positive experience for McCarthy.
15. Hated – Vanna White: Ruined Her Relationship With Hefner
Vanna White may be best known for turning over the tiles on Wheel of Fortune, but you better believe she was not too pleased when fans were able to turn over the pages and see a scantily clad Vanna White.
The photos were put in the 1987 issue of Playboy but were actually not taken for Hefner.
When talking about the experience, White said “What happened was when I moved to Hollywood, I was too embarrassed to ask my dad for money for rent. I did some lingerie shots like we all do sometimes… back in those days, and Hugh Hefner bought the pictures.”
14. Loved – Kelly Brook: Was A Great Honor, Earned $500,000
When these gorgeous women are trying to make the decision on if they want to bare it all, one of the most motivating factors must be the countless beautiful women that have come before them and (ideally, but as you now know not always) had a nice time where they felt respected.
That was definitely the case for Kelly Brook, whose agent came out and said “She’s absolutely thrilled. It’s such a great honor for her, especially when you think about the icons that have graced the cover of the magazine over the years.”
Once the photo shoot was complete, Brook also had nothing but positive things to say “I was able to produce an amazing photo shoot that I know when I’m old and grey, I can look back on and go, oh my God, that was me when people were interested in seeing me scantily clad.”
13. Hated – Lara Stone: Sued French Edition Of Playboy
You know one way that it can become pretty clear that a model is not too happy with being in Playboy? She decides to sue them. Lara Stone may not be the only girl on here who sued the company, but she definitely had the right to.
Stone, who is perhaps best known for her work with Calvin Klein, unexpectedly appeared in Playboy back in 2010. The photos were taken by Greg Lotus in 2008 and placed in his syndication agency who then sold them to Playboy without informing him.
When talking about the case, Stone said “Playboy had no right to publish these unauthorized photographs. It’s not the kind of publication I would ever choose to appear in.”
12. Loved – Sharon Stone: Credits The Shoot For Her Career
You aren’t going to read Sharon Stone‘s name and go long before thinking about her iconic scene in Basic Instinct in which she seductively uncrosses her legs. But you wouldn’t have gotten that iconic moment if she never decided to uncross her legs for Hefner!
When talking about the influence that Playboy had on her career, Stone said “I was very good friends with the woman who was photo-editor of Playboy magazine and she was always saying that Hugh Hefner wanted me to be in Playboy. I showed her some black and white pictures that Man Ray had taken of his wife and said, ‘something like this’. And I got Basic Instinct, like five minutes later.”
11. Hated – P.J. Masten: Assaulted By Cosby
When you get to our #1 candidate, you’ll find a woman whose sexual assault that she suffered at the hands of Bill Cosby was enough to drive her to suicide. For you see, Cosby was quite frequent at these Playboy mansion parties and another bunny who felt his wrath was P.J. Masten.
Masten said she was assaulted in 1979 and when talking about the experience, said “He poured me a drink. I took two sips, and that’s the very last thing I remember until four o’clock in the morning, and I woke up in bed, naked and bruised and battered and him next to me,”
After going to her supervisor, Masten said she responded with “Well, you know that Bill Cosby is Hefner’s best friend, right? Nobody’s going to believe you. I suggest you shut your mouth.”
10. Loved – Sherilyn Fenn: Posed For Several Mediums
In the 90s Sherilyn Fenn had the opportunity to appear in the television series Twin Peaks for a little over 30 episodes, but as exciting as that was, you may find her involvement with Playboy all the more alluring.
Especially when you find out that for Fenn it was a positive experience that led to several opportunities within the company,
“I’m happy that I had the opportunity to pose for Playboy. I worked for Playboy Live, appeared on Playboy TV and Playboy Radio, and had a pictorial in the Cyber Club— now called Playboy Plus, I believe,” she said in a past interview.
9. Hated – Jessica Alba: Sued After Cover Issue
In 2006, Jessica Alba was easily considered to be one of the sexiest movie stars in Hollywood, so when Playboy was running with a feature about the “25 Sexiest Celebrities” why wouldn’t they want to include Alba?
Playboy went on to track down Alba’s representatives and ask permission to use images of Alba in the magazine and eventually a compromise was made that they could feature Alba in a bikini (from the movie Into the Blue) but NOT on the cover.
Playboy decided to put her on the cover anyway, leading Alba to sue the magazine.
8. Loved – Lindsay Lohan: Made Her Feel More Confident
Lindsay Lohan has no shortage of past moments in society in which she’s shown off quite a bit of skin, but perhaps none was more deliberate than when she decided to bare it all for Playboy back in 2011.
For Lohan, the opportunity wasn’t so much about getting to dial up her sex appeal, but to help her discover more about herself as a person.
“Sex and sexuality are a part of nature, and I go along with nature. I think Marilyn Monroe once said that. I certainly agree with her… Knowing yourself and your body is so important because it gives you confidence, and in life, women need confidence. It’s a very male-dominated world to begin with, so knowing yourself and being comfortable with your body is an important thing for me as a woman,” she said in a past interview.
7. Hated – Daisy Lowe: How Much Focus Her Downstairs Got
Daisy Lowe had herself a big 2011 as she decided to bare it all for both Esquire and Playboy. But while she’s avoided putting Esquire on blast, she was less thrilled with the final results of her day with Hefner.
When she was asked in an interview about if there was anything she could take back, Lowe said “Probably my completely nude Playboy picture. I love so many of the images, but not the one of me underwater… My lady parts got an entire page to themselves, which I would love to be deleted!”
6. Loved – Joanna Krupa: Let The Clothes Drop Several Times
Joanna Krupa is an incredibly talented model who looks just as good in clothes for a night on the town as she does letting the clothes drop to the floor; the latter of which she did for Hefner on two separate occasions both of which also included cover shoots.
So you can imagine that with her decision to bare it all again, that Krupa would be pretty pleased with her decisions. In fact, Krupa held nothing back when attacking women who attack women for baring it all.
“What is feminist about discriminating a photo shoot just because it involves female (partial) nudity that happens to give men pleasure? Pathetic. There are several great reasons why female celebs line up to shoot Playboy: Finally a woman gets paid more than a man for comparable work, she gets to set the rules, gets to be in a real team work with other women, as many key positions at Playboy are in fact held by women! She brings in her creative ideas, gets involved in the photo selection and ends up with something she co-created through and through.”
5. Hated – Kim K.: Felt Pressured Into It
Kim Kardashian is easily considered to be one of the most beautiful women in society. Plus, when you consider the fact that she has shown off every little bit of herself in some bedroom tapes of herself, you may be shocked to hear that she was unhappy with how her day with Playboy went.
“I’m sorry I did Playboy, I was uncomfortable,” she admitted in a past interview. Kim also divulged that she felt pressured by Caitlyn Jenner to bare it all for the magazine.
But proving that it really does come down to the experience, Kim has gone on to talk about how much she loved baring it all for Harper’s Bazaar saying,
“It’s definitely scary, but it’s very liberating. I think the message is [to] embrace your curves and who you are. I feel proud if young girls look up to me and say, ‘I’m curvy, and I’m proud of it now.'”
4. Loved – Olivia Munn: Proud She Was Not Nude
Olivia Munn has unfortunately had her privacy get leaked in the past and in the process, had some incredibly explicit images of herself get spread into the world. This was all the more shocking when you consider when Munn stepped in front of the cameras for Playboy, she did so with her clothes on!
“Cover of Playboy, non-nude which I’m very proud of. Because not many people have been able to get the cover of playboy and not show any vagina or nipple.” Munn said in a past interview.
But just because Munn was comfortable keeping her clothes on, don’t think that means she is hating on you on if you did the opposite as she went on to say “[To those who do] If you’re comfortable showing it, show it. It’s the Asian in me that’s more prude!”
3. Hated – Holly Madison: Became Suicidal In The Mansion
Holly Madison not only was a famous Playboy bunny, but she even dated Hefner for several years. But when talking about her life, and in particular life in the mansion, Madison opened up about her suicidal tendencies writing in her memoir, “If I just put my head under water and take a deep breath in, it would all be over. I wondered, would anyone even miss me? Maybe it was the pot and the alcohol, but drowning myself seemed like the logical way to escape the ridiculous life I was leading.”
2. Loved – Drew Barrymore: But Wouldn’t Recommend To Daughters
Drew Barrymore has definitely lived herself an interesting life that has been full of things that we are sure she wishes she could take back. You’ll be glad to hear that she falls on the positive side of our list though, as Playboy is definitely something that she would not have taken back,
“I have no regrets in my life whatsoever. I’m psyched about it all,” she said when talking about her past experiences.
When Barrymore was asked if she’d let her daughter (she has 2) bare it all, she had a different answer entirely, “I would not let her. I don’t think I would. I would influence her not to, because my life choices are not supposed to be the gateway to somebody else’s. That’s my journey. I’m just in such a different mind frame. I’m in mom mode now.”
1. Hated – Paige Young: Took Her Own Life
Our list may have included several prominent celebrities but as we wind it all up, it’s a name you may not recognize that stands out as our #1 choice. Paige Young was named the Playmate of the Month in November 1968.
Young enjoyed many of the benefits that came with being a bunny, including access to some pretty wild parties. Sadly, also at these parties was Bill Cosby who took a liking to Young. A friend close to Young described their relationship saying “Paige always seemed in a stupor, a daze, like he was controlling her. All I remember is that their relationship wasn’t healthy. Paige was a young thing who was very much taken advantage of by the men of Hollywood.”
Paige’s life quickly became consumed by this lifestyle and in 1974, Paige shot and killed herself with a .38 caliber pistol. Did she hate the naked photos of herself? Perhaps not, but you better believe she hated the lifestyle that it led to.