Holly Madison has spoken at length about the traumatic effects of living at the Playboy mansion, but it isn’t always easy.
“It is very healing, but every time I talk about it, it is kind of, like, reawakening the trauma a little bit,” the model, 43, exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month. “So I’m kind of careful about when I talk and in what context.”
The former Girls Next Door star, who dated Playboy founder Hugh Hefner from 2001 to 2008, has consciously selected where and when she discusses her history with the famed magazine and Hefner (who died in 2017 at age 91).
“I talked about it recently when Bridget [Marquardt] and I started our podcast [‘Girls Next Level’] late last year, and I talked about it in [the A&E miniseries] Secrets of Playboy last year as well,” Madison explained. “I didn’t really want to, but I knew that so many other women were coming forward with their stories. I wanted to be supportive of that because I know what it feels like to be one person coming out and with nobody supporting you. That was important to me.”
The Oregon native has previously alleged that there was a “cult-like” atmosphere at the Playboy Mansion and claimed she was required to have group sex twice a week with Hefner. It isn’t easy for Madison to recall such dark times.
“But it is hard to sit there for a full day, or two days in the case of Secrets of Playboy, where somebody’s interviewing you about all the intimate and horrible moments of seven years of your life,” she told Us. “It wasn’t a fun interview to do, but I felt like it was necessary.”
Her next TV show, ID’s The Playboy Murders, will investigate the trauma of those who were killed after their worlds intersected with the famous magazine. Madison hosts and executive produces the six-episode anthology series.
“When I was approached about doing this show, I was given a deck with a description of all the cases in it. I was really compelled by it because not only are these extremely interesting cases and all six are very different, but I had never even heard of most of these cases,” the Down the Rabbit Hole author explained. “I thought I knew everything about Playboy history and everything that happened to every playmate, but I’d never heard of these. So I was extremely intrigued and I knew this was the type of show that I would wanna watch whether or not I was involved. So that was a definite yes for me.”
The Playboy Murders premieres on ID Monday, January 23, at 10 p.m. ET.