Holly Madison reveals fear of leaving ‘verbally abusive’ Hugh Hefner Uncensored ExploredAugust 4, 2022
Today we’re talking about Holly Madison reveals fear of leaving ‘verbally abusive’ Hugh Hefner
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Holly Madison is speaking out about her former relationship with Playboy publisher Hugh Hefnerrevealing the all-consuming fear she felt when she finally decided to leave him.
Speaking on The Viall Files podcast, run by former The Bachelor US star Nick Viall, Madison explained how leaving her Playboy life impacted her all the way back in 2008.
“For me, I think the scariest thing about leaving the relationship was because I’d been in this hit TV show and been presented a certain way and everybody kinda thought they knew me,” she said.
You can watch the interview above.
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Madison, 42, dated Hefner from 2001 to 2008, where she also lived at his Playboy Mansion along with a number of his other girlfriends.
“I was kinda synonymous with the Playboy brand, and I didn’t really know if I’d be able to go out and…lead a normal life or date like a normal person, so that was a big fear for me.”
From 2005 to 2010, Madison co-starred on the reality series The Girls Next Doorwhich followed her and other Hefner girlfriends, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson, in their lives at the Playboy Mansion.
Though their relationships had ended with Hefner by 2008, they continued filming for the series.
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Speaking on the podcast, Madison said a “combination of things” made her “ready to leave” the mansion at the time.
“It was like, you know, getting into my late 20s and realising that I wanted to have kids someday and also, I’d started working more, whether it was through the show and also like working at the Playboy Studio,” Madison said.
“I started to get a lot more confidence because I was working. And that helped.”
Madison has opened up about the horrible atmosphere and abusive and “manipulative” behaviour of Hefner before, having released a tell-all memoir in 2015 titled Down the Rabbit Hole.
Earlier this year she also appeared on the Secrets of Playboy docuseries, where she described life in the mansion as “cult-like”.
Now she claims that Hefner was also verbally abusive towards her.
“A strange thing kind of happened toward the end of the relationship where the other girls were leaving and it was just me, and he started to get really verbally abusive toward me,” Madison said.
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“He liked to… encourage drama between the other girls, and he didn’t have that anymore. So it was just me realising that he was the problematic one…”
“For a long time I made excuses, saying, ‘Oh, it’s just the other girls. If they weren’t here, you know, this could be a fun situation. But then when it was just me and him, I realised… this is what I’m dealing with, I can’t do it anymore,” she added.
She added that once she went public with the truth, she started to feel like she could identify with herself a lot more.
“When I shared my story, it was just important for me to share everything about it, like the bad things as well as the good things, because on Girls Next Doorour lifestyle was packaged to look just very fun and happy and almost like family friendly in a way,” Madison said.
“After I left the show… I’d run into people every day who would come up to me and just have assumptions about my life or think they knew how things were, and it really started to bother me after a while.
“I started to feel like I was living a lie, and it just really started to weigh on me.”
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