Hugh Hefner, like the magazine and brand he was known for, was a controversial figure, per The Washington Post. Hugh’s image was that of a playboy, an almost Bond-esque figure, minus the espionage. He had a mansion, he had money, and he had several women living in his mansion as his girlfriends. Hefner leveraged that with a reality TV show, “The Girls Next Door,” about the lives of the Playmates, and to whitewash his public image, which was declining at the time.
However, strange things about the relationship between Hefner and the playmates kept coming to light, per US Magazine. Some expressed disbelief at Hefner’s determination to cling to the role of the sexually active Playboy despite his advancing age. According to Mirror UK, the amount of watchfulness Hefner exhibited over the playmates was a tad disturbing. They were shielded from the outside world in a bubble — a not entirely pleasant bubble — and since they weren’t allowed to work, they were heavily reliant on Hefner.
In response to allegations in the 2006 book “Bunny Tales,” by ex-playmate Izabella St. James, Hefner confirmed that he gave his girlfriends a weekly clothing allowance of $1,000. In an interview with The Daily Beast, he also confirmed the allegations of a curfew for the playmates. Other ex-playmates have spoken up against the practice, stating that the allowance was one of many manipulation tactics Hefner used on them. More details on the disturbing things that happened in the Playboy mansion were brought to light in a new A&E docuseries titled “Secrets of Playboy,” writes Daily Mail.