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Hugh Hefner's ex calls him a 'monster' as she recalls traumatic relationship

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·5 min read

Monday's episode of Secrets of Playboy featured many disturbing claims about Hugh Hefner and the depravity that went on at the Playboy Mansion. Hefner's ex-girlfriend, Sondra Theodore, emotionally opened up about her five-year relationship with the Playboy founder, declaring him "a monster."

"The things he got turned on by — nothing was enough. Nothing," the former Playmate revealed.

Theodore, who dated Hefner from 1976 to 1981, said their relationship was "like a fairytale" at first. "We were so in love," she admitted. But her story is similar to those of Hefner's other girlfriends who claim they were groomed and isolated.

"He cut me off from the world," Theodore recalled.

The model's relationship with Hefner coincided with when he decided to date multiple women at the same time and live the life that Playboy magazine represented. Theodore had to recruit young women for group sex with Hefner.

Playmate Sondra Theodore with boyfriend Hugh Hefner in 1977
Playmate Sondra Theodore with boyfriend Hugh Hefner in 1977. (Photo: Getty Images)

"I was told it was a party, it was getting together to have some fun," she tearfully said. "That was my way of pretending I really wasn't doing it."

Theodore, who previously claimed she was Hefner's "drug mule," admitted to doing cocaine in order to go along with what her boyfriend wanted her to do.

Perhaps one of the most startling moments of the night came when Theodore alleged she walked into a room only to find Hefner fondling their dog.

"He said, 'Dogs have needs,'" she recalled. "I never left him alone with a dog again... I could not believe what I was seeing."

Former "bunny mother" P.J. Masten shared a horrific story allegedly involving porn star Linda Lovelace. Masten said the Deep Throat star "was drunk and drugged" one night at the Playboy Mansion and performed a sexual act with a German Shepard dog. Theodore corroborated the disturbing tale claiming Hefner admitted it happened, telling her, "We all watched."

Theodore alleged that later in their relationship, Hefner brought men into the bedroom and directed her to have sex with them against her will.

"I felt so violated having a man that I did not want to be with forced up on me," she recalled. Her breaking point ultimately came when Hefner allegedly brought up snuff films, which is a video that purportedly shows actual homicide.

"What kind of mind is so far gone that it takes killing somebody to get them excited for that big release? He was opening my eyes to this monster. Really, he was a monster," Theodore declared. Although she got the courage to leave, she said she's affected daily by what transpired during her time at the Playboy Mansion.

"I lived a luxury life, yeah, but I paid dearly for it," she stated. "I will never know how to be a normal person."

Secrets of Playboy director Alexandra Dean told Yahoo Entertainment that Theodore was the hardest person to get to participate in the documentary, calling her the "main voice" of the series.

"The thing that shocked me the most is the depth of her scarring around what happened to her with Hef," Dean said. "It was so profound and that is what convinced me more than anything else that this was a much darker story than I had initially started to make. Just looking at Sondra, listening to Sondra, you could hear all those traces of trauma."

Dean, who spoke to former Playmates, Hefner's ex-girlfriends and mansion staff members, believes the height of his darkness was when he dated Theodore.

"I think it was the height of his drug use as well," she explained. "I think it unleashed things or at least it eradicated certain boundaries he might have had otherwise. The real Hef came roaring out... it's dark."

Dean added, "When we think about the mansion, it's kind of like Vegas. We think it's fun and cute, that anything that happens in the mansion stays at the mansion. But when you look at what you're really talking about, it's this voracious sex addict who had to keep experimenting and pushing the boundaries of experimentation. There's nothing fun and cute about that. It's brutal. It's terrifying. And there's more than a little bit misogyny embedded in there."

Playboy issued a statement ahead of the A&E series premiere last month.

"The Hefner family is no longer associated with Playboy, and today's Playboy is not Hugh Hefner's Playboy. We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences," a spokesperson told Yahoo. "As a brand with sex-positivity at its core, we believe safety, security and accountability are paramount. The most important thing we can do right now is actively listen and learn from their experiences. As an organization with a more than 80 percent female workforce, we are committed to confronting any parts of our legacy that do not reflect our values today, and continuing the progress we have made to evolve as a company so we can drive positive change for our employees and our communities."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, help is available. RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline is here for survivors 24/7 with free, anonymous help. 800.656.HOPE (4673) and online.rainn.org.

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