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Hugh Hefner’s ex-girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson opens up about trauma saying Playboy ‘messed her whole life up’

Hugh Hefner’s ex-girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson opens up about trauma saying Playboy ‘messed her whole life up’

Kendra Wilkinson was just 18 years old when she arrived at the Playboy Mansion

Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend Kendra Wilkinson has claimed Playboy 'messed [her] whole life up' in a new interview recalling her time in the famous mansion.

Wilkinson was just 18 years old when she moved into the huge home with Hefner, who was 60 years older than her.

Her relationship with the editor shot her into the spotlight as it landed her a place on the hit reality series Girls Next Door, but Wilkinson has now admitted it's 'not easy' to look back at that time of her life.

In an interview with People, she said: "I’ve had to face my demons. Playboy really messed my whole life up."

Last summer, Wilkinson began struggling to eat or sleep. Attempting to have a fresh start in the real estate business, she began to question how she was 'going to succeed', and what she was doing 'wrong' in her life.

While simultaneously trying to be present for her two kids, she received another blow when her series, Kendra Sells Hollywood, wasn’t picked up for a third season.

Kendra Wilkinson now works as a real estate agent.

“It was so scary for me to go through it. I wasn’t focusing on myself or my mental health. Here I was a single mom and I've been alone for years now. But it's also easy to feel like the world is caving in on you," she said.

"I was trying to fight it on my own. I was trying to cure it on my own and you can't do that. I was isolating, hiding, blaming myself, blaming the world. I was spiraling out of control and I felt like I wasn't strong enough to survive."

In September 2023, Wilkinson was at the height of her struggles and checked herself into hospital. Afterwards, she was placed on the antipsychotic medication Abilify and began therapy three times a week.

In the sessions, Wilkinson has been working on tackling unresolved trauma which largely stemmed from her time in the Playboy mansion, as well as from her divorce from ex-husband Hank Baskett in 2019.

Wilkinson told People she was on drugs when she was just 15 years old, and that she struggled with depression both before and during her time at the mansion.

"I drank a lot. I was there for the partying, OK, let's just be real. I was not there for Hugh Hefner to be my boyfriend," she said.

Kendra Wilkinson was only 18 when she became Hefner's girlfriend.
Denise Truscello/WireImage

Wilkinson described feeling sexualized from a young age, but said her experiences at the mansion impacted her self-esteem.

“I hated my boobs, my body, my face. I got to that point where I started hating myself,” she said.

Looking back now, she asked herself: "Why did I have sex with Hugh Hefner at that age? Why did I do that?

"Why did I go to the mansion in the first place? Why did I get big boobs? Why am I a sex symbol? Why did I bleach blonde my hair? Why did I do this to myself? Why did I?"

Wilkinson is still looking for the answers to those questions, but she's focusing now on letting go of the 'vortex of horrible things'.

“I want to let myself be," she explained.

Wilkinson is now ready to find love again, as well as hoping to give her children a better upbringing than she had herself.

"A year ago, I was body-shaming. Now, I feel beautiful," she said. "I’m not wild as in taking my clothes off, partying, drinking tequila wild, but I really faced myself and my demons. I feel like I'm the best mom I can be. I'm giving my kids all I got. I'm giving myself all I got.

"I’m so proud of myself for battling this and finding the solution and getting the treatment I needed."

If you or someone you know is struggling or in mental health crisis, help is available through Mental Health America. Call or text 988 or chat You can also reach Crisis Text Line by texting MHA to 741741

You can also call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 at the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline

Featured Image Credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty / Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty

Topics: Hugh Hefner, Sex and Relationships, Mental Health, Celebrity