Beyond the glitz and glamour, dark and disturbing secrets lie beyond the gates of the Playboy Mansion. At least, that’s what A&E’s soon-to-be-released documentary series "Secrets of Playboy" suggests.
The docuseries claims to reveal “the hidden truths behind the fable and philosophy of the Playboy empire through a modern-day lens.”
According to the New York Post, the 10-part series details the dark truth behind Hugh Hefner’s iconic lifestyle magazine, including Hefner’s alleged habit of bestiality.
The Post said that the series “unmasks the once-heralded late mogul — who, until now, has been revered as a god-like stud ... to reveal the ugly truth about the man who built his sex empire on the backs of vulnerable women.”
The series contains interviews of women who claim to be victims of Hefner and his entourage. Girlfriends and mistresses tell stories that implicate Hefner and his friends as sexual deviants – to put it mildly.
The women interviewed describe the late-Hefner’s close relationship with the once-beloved comedian Bill Cosby, how Hefner exposed young and impressionable women to drugs and alcohol, and one account describes how Hefner and company coerced a girl into performing oral sex on a German shepherd dog.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alexandra Dean, the series’ director, initially experienced substantial difficulty when attempting to set up interviews for the series’ subjects. Because of their age, many of the women interviewed by Dean were in at-risk categories and more susceptible for COVID-19 infection.
On this, Dean said, “Initially, the interview process was totally terrifying because I worried that if I jumped on a plane to meet these people in person, I might inadvertently kill them.”
Ahead of the series premiere, Playboy released an open letter stating that the Hefner family is no longer affiliated with the company and that the Playboy of today is dedicated to empowering women in a sex-positive environment.
Playboy wrote, “As a brand with sex positivity at its core, we believe safety, security and accountability are paramount, and anything less is inexcusable.”
It continued by stating that the company’s staff is “more than 80% female” and working toward “building upon the aspects of our legacy that have made a positive impact, including serving as a platform for free expression and a convener of safe conversations on sex, inclusion and freedom.”
Cooper Hefner, Hugh’s son, issued a statement on Twitter rebutting the series’ attack on Hugh’s legacy. The Hefner heir stated that, despite his father’s “unconventional” lifestyle, he lived “honestly” and “cared deeply for people.”