He was an idol to many but the real life of Hugh Hefner was a little different to the public image
He was an idol to many but the real life of Hugh Hefner was a little different to the public image AAP

What you never knew about Hugh Hefner

HUGH Hefner, the man who once described sex as "the major civilising force in the world" has died aged 91.

The founder of Playboy magazine will be remembered as a business and cultural icon - his net worth at the time of his death was $US43 million - but the day-to-day reality of his life was far less glamorous than the image he projected.

Here are five things that might surprise you about the fascinating life of Hugh Hefner.

1. HE STARTED PLAYBOY WITH JUST $600 OF HIS OWN MONEY AND BORROWED $8,000 FROM HIS MUM

"I got a $600 loan against my furniture from the local bank. I went to my family and asked if I could borrow some money from them, or whether they would invest in the magazine," Hefner told CNN in 2003.

"My father declined. He was an accountant, and he didn't feel that a magazine was a good business investment.

"My mother took me aside and said that she had some money of her own, and she would give me $1,000. She didn't believe in the magazine, but she believed in her son.

"My brother Keith ... sent a couple of hundred dollars every week, investing a total of $1,000. That money and the $1,000 I got from my mother were my two largest investments.

"The total investment that launched Playboy was $8,000. You don't start a national magazine with that kind of money. Of course, I didn't know that I couldn't do that, so I went ahead and did it."

2. HE DIDN'T ACTUALLY OWN THE PLAYBOY MANSION

3. AND THE MANSION IS ACTUALLY PRETTY GROSS

Since the 90s, the famous Playboy mansion has been described as "extraordinarily dingy" by shocked visitors, who tell tails of collapsing furniture, stained mattresses and carpets covered in dog faeces.

"The carpet in the upstairs hallway also had not been changed in who knows how long. Everything was just old and stale," wrote former Playmate Izabella St James in her tell-all book, Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion.

"Archie the house dog would regularly relieve himself on the hallway curtains, adding the scent of urine to the general scent of decay."

Hefner liked things to be messy, according to The Hollywood Reporter'sfeatures editor Stephen Galloway, who interviewed Hefner at the mansion for a 2011 profile.

"Old magazines and papers litter the floor all around his giant, king-size bed, with its kilim-style comforter," Galloway wrote.

"There are notes on an upcoming movie he will screen at one of his famed movie nights; pages from his magazine; a New York Times book review and wads of documents only Hefner could possibly identify.

"It's an intimate window into one man's unvarnished ID, and at odds with his empire's sexual theme: Two couches are covered with hundreds of stuffed toys; there's a mantelpiece highlighting Frankenstein heads and a framed replica of a toy gun he had as a child; the whole place is crammed with relics from his past."

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris on their wedding day.
Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris on their wedding day. Hugh Hefner's Official Twitter Page - https://twitter.com/hughhefner

4. BEING CHEATED ON REALLY HURT HEFNER

Hefner's first wife was his college girlfriend, Mildred Williams. But before they were married in 1949, she confessed to cheating on him.

He has described the admission as "the most devastating moment of my life".

5. BEING A PLAYBOY PLAYMATE ISN'T AWESOME AT ALL

There were strict rules, including a 9pm curfew, and the Playmates were given an allowance. They were not allowed to obtain any extra work and therefore earn more money, according to Izabella St. James.

"Every Friday morning we had to go to Hef's room, wait while he picked up all the dog poo off the carpet - and then ask for our allowance: a thousand dollars counted out in crisp hundred-dollar bills from a safe in one of his bookcases," she wrote in her book.

"We all hated this process. Hef would always use the occasion to bring up anything he wasn't happy about in the relationship.

"Most of the complaints were about the lack of harmony among the girlfriends - or your lack of sexual participation in the 'parties' he held in his bedroom.

"If we'd been out of town for any reason and missed one of the official 'going out' nights [when Hefner liked to parade his girls at nightclubs] he wouldn't want to give us the allowance. He used it as a weapon," she wrote.

6. THE SEX WAS TERRIBLE

All the public accounts of those infamous Playboy mansion sex parties don't paint a flattering picture of Hefner.

"It seemed to me he just laid there like a dead fish," St James wrote.

Former Playmate Kendra Wilkinson, who dated Hefner from 2004-2008, wrote about her experience in her 2014 book Sliding Into Home.

"I was usually very drunk doing those evenings, I tended not to care about much until the next day. I had to be very drunk or smoke lots of weed to survive those nights," she wrote.

"At about the minute mark, I pulled away and it was done. It was like a job. Clock in, clock out. It's not like I enjoyed having sex with him."

Jill Ann Spaulding, another former Playmate, also didn't have great things to say about the group orgies.

"When it first gets started his main girlfriend gives him [oral sex], then she has sex with him. She's the first to go because that's the safest for her. No protection and no testing. He doesn't care," she wrote in her book Jill Ann: Upstairs.

"Hef just lies there with his Viagra erection. It's just a fake erection, and each girl gets on top of him for two minutes while the girls in the background try to keep him excited."

7. HEFNER DIDN'T LIKE THE IDEA OF DEATH

According to the Hollywood Reporter, he hardly ever talked about death. a close colleague said.

"Even when [a longtime assistant] died, after the memorial, he never mentioned her again," a close colleague told the magazine.

When asked if he was afraid of dying, he replied, "No," adding "My mother lived to 101."

News Corp Australia


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