Holly Madison can look again now and see that her relationship with late Playboy writer Hugh Hefner, whom she dated from 2001 to 2008, wasn’t good for her. But, when their breakup was occurring, not a lot.
“For me, I think,” Madison stated Wednesday on Nick Viall’s podcast The Viall Files, “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, and I was kinda synonymous with the Playboy brand, and I didn’t really know if I’d be able to go out and, like, lead a normal life or date like a normal person, so that was a big fear for me.”
Madison co-starred on actuality sequence The Girls Next Door, which aired from 2005 to 2010 and adopted her and different Hefner girlfriends, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson, of their lives on the Playboy Mansion.
Looking again, Madison stated there wasn’t one incident that prompted her exit from Hefner’s property.
“It was a combination of things that finally made me ready to leave. It was like, you know, getting into my late 20s and realizing 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 stated. “I started to get a lot more confidence, because I was working. And that helped.”
And there was one thing else.
“But also, like, 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 stated. “He liked to, you know, encourage drama between the other girls, and he didn’t have that anymore. So it was just me realizing that he was the problematic one. Like, I could no longer say, ‘Oh, I’m miserable here because of the other girls. Oh, if the other girls weren’t so mean.’ Not that Bridget or Kendra were mean. There was a long history of, like, other women that lived there before that, so I don’t want anybody to think I am talking about either of them. But, 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 realized… this is what I’m dealing with, I can’t do it anymore.”
Madison appeared again on her time with Hefner in her 2015 memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole, and earlier this 12 months on A&E’s Secrets of Playboy docuseries, calling the vibe on the Playboy Mansion “cult-like” and explaining that she felt she had been pushed into having intercourse with the media mogul on their first date. She additionally referred to Hefner, who was in his 70s after they started relationship, as “manipulative.”
She instructed Viall why she’d gone public along with her true emotions.
“For me, 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 Door, our lifestyle was packaged to look just very fun and happy and almost like family friendly in a way,” Madison stated. “And after I left the show I was kinda like just going out living my life and 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 because I felt like, when I would just respond to these people and say what I thought was the nice thing to say, like, ‘Oh, yeah, everybody’s great or whatever.’ I started to feel like I was living a lie, and it just really started to weigh on me.
“And I felt like I had quite a bit to share so far as, such as you stated, energy dynamics in relationships and relationships which might be abusive in several sorts of the way, whether or not they’re, like, emotionally abusive or, you understand, financially abusive.”
Madison said she’s been able to connect with others through her story.
“I imply, clearly the scenario I used to be in was very uncommon, and I believe as a result of it was so uncommon, I used to be in a position to make excuses for it for a very long time as a result of, clearly, you get into it realizing it is not like a typical relationship,” Madison said. “So I made a variety of excuses for it however I discovered that, you understand, my story connects with lots of people, they usually see echoes of it typically in their very own relationships that they then received out of.”