Holly Madison defended her relationship with the late Hugh Hefner, insisting she wasn’t a “treacherous gold digger” like many people labeled her.
The model, now 41, is opening up about her time living at the Playboy Mansion. She resided at the lavish property from the early 2000s until she and Hugh Hefner split in 2008.
Appearing on a recent episode of the Power: Hugh Hefner podcast, Madison opened up about what it was like living with him as his main girlfriend for seven years.
Revealing that some people view her as a “predator”, Madison defended her relationship with the Playboy magazine founder, who died in 2017 at the age of 91.
“I didn’t feel like I was every doing anything that held any bad intentions towards anyone else,” Madison told podcast host Amy Rose Spiegel.
At the time the relationship began in 2001, Madison was in her early 20s and Hefner was in his mid-70s.
“I think sometimes when I tell my story, there’s people who think that I’m this treacherous gold digger who was out to steal all this money from an old, unassuming man,” she continued.
“Sometimes they wanna be like, ‘Oh well, you’re the predator, because you just wanted money.’ That wasn’t it at all. It just looked like a situation that worked for everybody.”
Elsewhere in the podcast, Madison recalled the very first time she had sex with Hefner, calling the experience a “traumatic” one.
“I was wasted,” she said. “He was literally pushed on top of me. And after it happened, I was just mortified and embarrassed, and it had way more of an emotional impact on me than I thought it would.”
“I wasn’t necessarily expecting to have sex that night. I thought it would be more of a first date – even though, obviously, it’s not a very traditional first date,” she said.
“I thought it would be more the type of thing where I saw what happened, saw what was going on. If I wasn’t comfortable with it, I wouldn’t have to do anything and I could make my decision on whether I wanted to come back for date No. 2 or not.”
While Madison had admired Hefner at the time, what really “horrified” her was that all of the other ladies knew the pair had slept together.
“I thought he was really smart, I really looked up to him, so I liked him, and it wasn’t that the idea of possibly having sex with him repelled me so much – I know that’s not relatable to a lot of people because they’re like, ‘Oh, he’s an old man, gross,'” she said.
“It was more the group aspect that was really out of my comfort zone and just the feeling of ‘Wow, OK, that happened. Everybody knows it happened,'” she continued.
“I kind of all of a sudden felt like everybody was going to know about me, and I was horrified by it.”