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Crystal Hefner Says Animals At The Playboy Mansion Were Abused

Crystal Hefner has shared yet another unsettling allegation about her late husband, Hugh Hefner

In her memoir “Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself,” the widow of the magazine mogul reportedly writes about how the many domesticated and exotic animals that lived at Playboy mansion were neglected and abused, according to People and BuzzFeed News

“So sad, those little birds,” Crystal Hefner told People in an interview published Saturday. “Yeah, I feel like I was constantly crying for everything and everybody there. It was so sad.”

Crystal Hefner shows off her new memoir outside CBS Studio last week in New York City.
Crystal Hefner shows off her new memoir outside CBS Studio last week in New York City.

Crystal Hefner shows off her new memoir outside CBS Studio last week in New York City.

Crystal Hefner explains in her new book that the Playboy founder always kept two pet lovebirds caged in his bathroom, but they kept dying and were routinely replaced, according to BuzzFeed. She wrote that someone eventually figured out the issue — the metal ball in their water dispenser was stuck, resulting in the birds dying of thirst. 

Crystal Hefner went on to tell People that although her husband “had a zoo license” allowing him to keep monkeys, peacocks, toucans and other exotic animals on his property, they didn’t appear to be thriving.

“All those animals were so depressed and sad looking, you walk by the cages and you’re just, none of them were happy,” she said.

BuzzFeed notes that Crystal Hefner wrote in her memoir that she could sometimes hear the animals crying from inside her bedroom.

“Even with the window shut, I could hear their plaintive voices in my mind. ‘Help, help,’ they cawed and wailed — at least that’s what it sounded like to me,” she wrote, according to the outlet.

A representative for Playboy Enterprises didn’t immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment about Crystal Hefner’s allegations.

Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriend, Holly Madison, gives a tour of the Playboy mansion’s private zoo in 2006.
Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriend, Holly Madison, gives a tour of the Playboy mansion’s private zoo in 2006.

Hugh Hefner’s former girlfriend, Holly Madison, gives a tour of the Playboy mansion’s private zoo in 2006.

Hugh Hefner enjoyed showing off the many exotic animals on his property, and did so in a 2002 episode of MTV’s “Cribs.” Although the full episode is not available on streaming or on MTV’s YouTube channel, a clip has made its way onto TikTokin whichspider monkeys locked in a cage can be seen making a ruckus as soon as the camera crew approaches.

“They’re very calm and relaxed until we get here,” Hugh Hefner can be seen saying in the clip. “And they, ya know, they think they may get a shot at MTV.”

Crystal Hefner’s attitude about the animals on the property is starkly different from the way she described them to The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, when the outlet took a tour of the mansion’s zoo. She told the outlet at the time that the property was “filled with many cute and fun animals,” and that a considerable portion of them “were donated by people who couldn’t take care of them.”

She added to the entertainment magazine that her husband “had always been a big animal lover and that ‘the first thing he did when he bought the property [in 1971 for $1.1 million] was add the animals and the zoo and just make it a great environment for them.’”

“It’s like an oasis here,” she told THR. “We live in paradise.”

Although Crystal Hefner is now singing a different tune about how the animals were treated at the Playboy mansion, it should also be noted that she has recently been more outspoken about how her late husband carefully controlled her life for the sake of his own image.