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Hugh Hefner accused of raping multiple women in 'Secrets of Playboy'

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read
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After weeks of exploring the Playboy Mansion's dark underworld, Secrets of Playboy turned the spotlight directly on Hugh Hefner in Monday's episode with new, horrifying claims of sexual abuse.

"I decided to tell in detail about the Hefner rape. I hate that word, but there's no other way to describe it," alleges former Playmate Susie Krabacher.

Krabacher says she left home at the age of 15 after she was sexually abused by her grandfather as a child. She made her way to Los Angeles and shot for Playboy at age 17. In 1983, she moved into the Playboy Mansion.

Krabacher recalled Hefner telling her "it's safe here" and if there was anything she wanted to experiment with at the mansion, to let him know. She was hoping to become Playboy's Playmate of the Year, which many girls were campaigning for who lived in the mansion, so she went to his room one night to make a pitch. While in Hefner's room, Krabacher claims he gave her "a drug" to help her calm down.

Portrait of Hugh Hefner, chief of Playboy Enterprises.
Portrait of Hugh Hefner, chief of Playboy Enterprises. (Photo: Getty Images)

"I don't remember laying down. I don't remember if I even said anything to him about Playmate of the Year. I woke up with him on top of me, he was naked and my pants were off," Krabacher alleges.

"I thought that I was having a nightmare because it didn't seem possible. I thought I was reliving the last time that my grandfather had done this to me... This old man with his mouth gaping open was a real thing. He was a real person, it was Hefner," she emotionally continues. "He looked like Satan. He just looked so — just a creep."

As for why Hefner allegedly preyed on her, Krabacher theorizes it's because she "didn't show him a lot of attention."

"The next morning I was so ashamed, I wanted to just die," she emotionally says. Hefner "never mentioned" the alleged assault. "The only explanation is that he was hiding it from me. To make me doubt that it happened maybe, to make me forget about it."

Krabacher says she had "never" been drugged before, but believes it was a quaalude. Holly Madison, who was Hefner's No. 1 girlfriend from 2001 to 2008 and makes her own startling claims in the series, alleges Hefner had the drug readily available.

"When I was there, Hef would carry the quaaludes in a wadded up Kleenex in his pocket and I saw him offer it to people all the time," the Girls Next Door alum claims.

Sondra Theodore alleges she witnessed Hefner rape a woman at the Playboy Mansion. According to Theodore, who dated Hefner from 1976 to 1981, Hefner had a "skeleton key" that opened every door at the mansion. One night, he supposedly went into the room and "sat down on the bed" of a woman who was sleeping.

"I didn't know what to do. She kept saying no," Theodore tearfully recalls. "He forced himself on her. I was standing there and I was terrified... all these years, does she think I'm a monster because of it? I'm sorry I didn't do anything to stop it."

Theodore continues, "[Hef] said to me, 'Well, did they think they were going to come and stay in my house and not sleep with me?' Whether they consented or not if he wanted something, he would take it."

Monday's episode circles back to the murder of Playboy Playmate and actress Dorothy Stratten, who was a rising star in Hefner's world. She was killed in 1980 by estranged husband Paul Snider. One former staff member of Hefner's believes she was in trouble the second she stepped foot inside the mansion.

"At the mansion, the process was you first meet Hefner. You have sex with him, then he passes you around to his friends. You don't violate this order of sexual activity, but Dorothy, she broke the rules," says Stefan Tetenbaum, who worked as valet when Stratten arrived.

According to Tetenbaum, Hefner got upset when he thought Stratten slept with producer, Patrick Curtis. Hefner allegedly brutally attacked the model.

"We heard her screaming," Tetenbaum claims. "Hefner propped her up [near the grotto] and he started to rape her anally and she was screaming."

After witnessing the alleged assault, Tetenbaum claims a security guard told him to keep his mouth shut.

"I'm sorry," he admits, of saying nothing.

Filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich claimed in his book that Stratten confided in him about the alleged rape. Hefner, who died in 2017, denied claims that anything inappropriate went on with Stratten when accusations arose decades ago. ("I am, publisher of Playboy or no, a very shy man. And I could no more force myself on a woman, psychologically or physically, than could the man on the moon.")

Madison says she didn't listen to the rumors about Stratten while at the mansion.

"Everything that happened back in her day was so mirrored to what was going on in the early 2000s," she claims.

Theodore believes many women stayed silent about Hefner's alleged abuse because of the sex tapes.

"He had tapes on everybody. Anybody that walked into that bedroom disrobed, they have a tape on them," she claims. Apparently, the rumor is Hefner had them destroyed before he passed away — when a video department employee pulled tapes from the cases, put them in a barrel and took them out to sea on a boat.

The show ends with some of the women who participated in Secrets of Playboy coming together.

"I hope that by coming out with this, maybe other girls can say 'Finally,'" says Theodore. "Maybe they can let go of that nightmare."

Monday's episode is the last of 10 initially planned for the docuseries; however, A&E announced it will air two more special episodes over the next two weeks.