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Crystal Hefner says she 'lost herself' when married to Hugh Hefner and claims life was no 'fantasy'
Featured Image Credit: Charley Gallay/Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Crystal Hefner says she 'lost herself' when married to Hugh Hefner and claims life was no 'fantasy'

The former playmate has opened up on her time in the Playboy Mansion

Seven years after the death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, his widow Crystal Hefner has opened up on what it was like being married to him, claiming it was no 'fantasy'.

Ahead of the release of Crystal's memoir Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Myself later this month, the 37-year-old has gotten candid about life at the Playboy Mansion.

And what she had to say wasn't too great.

Crystal was asked to stay at the Mansion in October 2008 when she was 21-years-old, entering a relationship with Hefner just months later.

But she admitted that while she had love for him, she was never 'in love'.

Hefner first asked her to marry him on Christmas Eve 2010. While Crystal initially accepted the proposal, she later broke off the engagement just five days before the pair were set to get married in June 2011.

After a brief reconciliation with her ex, Crystal eventually tied the knot with the publisher on December 31, 2012, becoming his third wife.

The couple were married until Hefner's death in 2017. But, she now says being married to Hefner was no 'fantasy'.

Crystal Hefner has opened up on what it was like being married to the infamous Hugh Hefner.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy

"I realized I was dealing with a really big power imbalance," Crystal told PEOPLE magazine. "It seemed like a world of success and fantasy, but everyone’s having to sleep with an 80-year-old. There’s a price. Everything has a price."

She also spoke about how restrictive life at the Playboy Mansion was, explaining how Hefner dictated everything about her appearance - from her nail color, to her hair, and even the way she dressed.

Crystal said Hef would make a note to her whenever her natural brown roots started showing.

"So I’d have to go bleach it and it would burn my scalp and I’d have blisters," she recounted to PEOPLE. "But for some reason, I thought this was all normal and that’s what it meant to be seen as beautiful in Hef’s eyes."

The entrepreneur admits that she was a bit brainwashed, saying: "At the time I thought I was on top. I thought, 'Wow, if I just like everything that he likes and do all the things that he wants me to do, then I’m the favorite'."

Trying to please Hefner took its toll, however, and she admitted: "I just lost myself in the process."

Crystal, now 37, admits that she 'lost herself' during her time living at the Playboy Mansion.

Last year, she told the New York Post the meaning behind the memoir's title, sharing a conversation she'd had with Hefner where her told her to 'only say good things about [him]' when he died.

"I kept that promise for the last five years. After going through a lot of therapy and healing, I realized that I needed to be honest about my time there. The book is about healing from a toxic environment."

Crystal isn't the only ex-playmate to hit back at their time in the famous mansion. In a recent interview, Hefner's ex-girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson claimed Playboy 'messed [her] whole life up.'

The 38-year-old recalled being hospitalized just four months ago after struggling with 'unresolved trauma.'

She is now working with a therapist to unpack the trauma from her time in the Playboy Mansion.

Topics: Celebrity, Entertainment, Hugh Hefner