Crystal Hefner didn’t hold back when it came to addressing her decade-long stint as a Playboy Bunny in her new book, Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself.
“Life in the mansion wasn’t the fairy tale I had once hoped it would be,” Hefner, 37, wrote in her memoir, which was released on Tuesday, January 23. “From the outside, sure, it had all the trappings of a fairy tale. But it wasn’t, and everyone who lived there knew it.”
The model made her mark on the late Hugh Hefner during a 2008 Halloween party at the Playboy mansion and was invited to move into the residence after spending the night with him. She was 21 years old at the time and quickly bypassed other Bunnies to become Hugh’s No. 1. Girlfriend.
On Christmas Eve in 2010, Hugh proposed to Crystal — sort of. “Hef never actually asked me to marry him,” Crystal wrote, also noting that she never technically told him yes.
Following some ups and downs — namely Crystal being dubbed a “runaway bride” — the couple wed on New Year’s Eve in 2012. They were together until Hugh’s death in September 2017.
“I was never in love with Hef, but I loved this old man in the ways you are supposed to love your elders,” Crystal wrote in her book. “In the ways you are supposed to love someone who is nearing the end of a long and complicated life.”
In the book’s introduction, Crystal hints at the inspiration behind the title, recalling that Hugh asked her to “only say good things about me” after he died. Keep scrolling to uncover the biggest revelations about Playboy and beyond:
Crystal’s Early Years
Crystal detailed the hardships she endured before her career as a Playboy Bunny began. Her father, Ray Harris, died when she was 12 after a battle with cancer.
Years later, Crystal lost her first real love, Greg, who was deployed in Afghanistan. Greg was her second high school boyfriend, and the pair had a “magic and blissful” relationship until Crystal learned she was pregnant. She detailed her abortion, which led her to feel “worthless” and “irresponsible” and caused her breakup with Greg. Crystal subsequently entered a “world of self-destruction,” which included another boyfriend who lived in a drug, alcohol and porn-fueled world.
Before becoming a Playboy Bunny, Crystal was a psychology major at San Diego State, but she never finished school.
The Holly Madison ‘Rivalry’
When Crystal was fully integrated into the mansion as Hugh’s “main girlfriend,” she felt the looming presence of Holly Madison — who had previously held that same position.
“I knew she’d been a commanding presence at the mansion and she’d left under murky circumstances,” Crystal wrote, noting that she felt “intimidated by the shadow [Holly] cast even after she left.”
A “rivalry” between Crystal and Holly was crafted for the Girls Next Door reality show. In one of her first scenes on the show, Crystal said, “I’m not the new Holly, she’s the old me,” playing into the suspected tension. In a second scene, Crystal recalled shooting her 2009 holiday Playboy spread with a sprig of holly pinned over her head. “They were trying, as usual, to whip up some rivalry between me and Holly Madison,” Crystal wrote of the Girls Next Door producers.
Crystal’s Shocking ‘Girls Next Door’ Salary
Crystal revealed that she got paid nothing for the show’s sixth season, claiming that Hugh was making $400,000 an episode. While she did make some money for the Marrying Hef TV special, it paled in comparison to what her husband earned. Crystal wrote that she took home a $2,500 fee for the entire series, with Hugh making $800,000.
Hugh’s Opiate Addiction
Crystal alleged that Hugh had a “secret” opiate addiction that “nobody ever talked about.” She wrote that his addiction to pills started “legitimately” when doctors gave Hugh an “earthquake supply” of Percocet for his back pain along with “his regular monthly refill.” (She also claimed Hugh was addicted to Dexedrine and Quaaludes over the years.)
Becoming Hugh’s Runaway Bride and How Jordan McGraw Fits Into the Picture
Following Crystal’s engagement to Hugh, she started to get cold feet. After finding her “safe haven” in musician Jordan McGraw — and in turn, his dad, Dr. Phil McGraw — she decided to pack up and move out of the Playboy Mansion without any notice. Jordan had even “cleared out one side” of his closet for Crystal.
“I ran straight to Jordan and hid from it all,” Crystal wrote. Moving in with Jordan, however, still felt “overwhelming” and “intense,” and their dynamic“started to sour pretty quickly.”
Crystal said that her brief romance with Jordan ended due to his “love bombing” and “Prince Charming behavior.” She claimed she found an email apparently sent by Jordan’s mom, Robin McGraw, allegedly telling him to break off the relationship. She eventually moved back into the Playboy Mansion.
How the Mansion Made Crystal Sick — Literally
Crystal revealed a barrage of health issues that she endured all at once.
“I not only had Lyme disease, but also breast implant illness, and my blood work and symptoms also suggested toxic mold exposure,” she wrote, claiming that there was black mold in the Playboy Mansion vents.
“This whole time, the mansion had been breaking me down, one way or another,” she wrote. “The house itself was literally making me sick. The funniest thing to me — darkly funny — was the way that Hef had always insisted that the mansion was better than the outside world, right down to the air.”
The Unspoken Playboy Mansion Rules
Throughout her memoir, Crystal noted that she learned various “unspoken rules” after moving into the Playboy Mansion. The “No. 1 most important” rule of living in the mansion was to always adore Hugh.
A second was the plastic surgery rule, which she claimed made the women in the house “competitive.” Along with getting breast implants, Crystal had a nose job and liposuction. “It was unspoken but also very clear that there was no other option if I wanted to stay,” she wrote.
How Hugh Actually Died
It was announced in 2017 that Hugh died of natural causes. However, Crystal offered a deeper look into her husband’s death in her memoir.
He was diagnosed with an “aggressive” E.coli infection that was “highly resistant to antibiotics and difficult to treat,” Crystal wrote. She recalled holding his hand during their last interaction together as antibiotics were administered through an IV. “I’m OK,” Hugh said, which Crystal noted were “his last words.”