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Crystal Hefner Teases Memoir About Playboy Mansion: ‘No One Is Safe’ on August 4, 2023 at 12:00 am Us Weekly

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Crystal Hefner is on a path to healing. After 10 years living in the infamous Playboy Mansion, the former wife of Hugh Hefner — they were wed in 2012 until his death of natural causes in 2017 — is making a fresh start. She’s relocated from L.A. to Hawaii, where she’s renovated a home on the Big Island. She also has a memoir due out in 2024, Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and Finding Myself, that will be sure to send shock waves through Hollywood. As Hefner tells Us exclusively, speaking via Zoom from her idyllic Hawaii house, “No one is safe.”

Hefner was just 21 when she met Hugh at a Halloween party at the mansion. Days later, he asked the Arizona native to move in with him and his other girlfriends, 18-year-old twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon. “Going in, I was a deer in the headlights. It was like I just got the golden ticket for the Willy Wonka [factory],” notes Hefner, 37. But eventually, she adds, “it all started crumbling down.”

Over the last several years, dozens of women have come forward with horror stories of their time at the Playboy Mansion. Multiple models and former girlfriends accused Hugh and his circle of friends of sexual assault, claimed the magazine mogul was a master manipulator and described life at the mansion as a prison, complete with dating rules and a strictly enforced curfew.

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Hefner was still living there when Holly Madison’s scathing 2015 memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny, was released. “I remember getting the E-book so I could type my name and just see what was said about me,” she laughs. “And [Holly] said something minor in there about how, like, I ripped some stickers off a mirror. But I remember the mansion being upset about it. It was when women had less of a voice.”

“It took years for me to understand what I went through and the bubble that I was in for so long,” Hefner says of life in the Playboy Mansion. Tracey Lyn

For Hefner, it was only after she began seeing a therapist following Hugh’s death that she could start to unravel the trauma she’d endured. “Therapy really helped,” says Hefner. “You start backtracking and [noticing] different behaviors. I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s gaslighting. That’s narcissism.’ It took years for me to understand what I went through, understand myself and also understand Hef and why he did certain things. You know, there’s a story behind everything.”

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As she delved into her past, Hefner says she began the process of “deprogramming.” At the mansion, “Your value is what you look like,” she notes. “I was rewarded for being codependent and feeling like I was nothing without Hef and had no value of my own. You’re rewarded for not having a life of your own outside of the person,” she continues. “I’ve learned a lot about self-worth, self-love, advocating for yourself and healthy relationships.”

Hefner’s also relearning how to have female friendships. “The women at the mansion were very catty. You could give someone $10,000 to not be my friend anymore, and they would take the money,” she shares, noting that out of the “thousands” of girls she met there, she’s stayed in touch with “maybe five.” While several of them, including Girls Next Door stars Holly, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson. have openly discussed their time at the mansion, Hefner says she has a different perspective. “I wasn’t one of three girlfriends on a show. We were married; I was there with Hugh until he died.”

Crystal (with Hugh in May 2013) initially called off their engagement in 2016. They wed the following year. Kevan Brooks/Admedia/Sipa/Shutterstock

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For Hefner, the writing process was cathartic. “When I read the first manuscript, I just burst out crying in the beginning paragraph because I felt like I finally have a voice, and this is it,” she shares, adding that the hardest chapters to write were those on sex and death. “Everyone assumes [I was] some dumb young girl who became part of [Hugh’s] girlfriend entourage, and, you know, ‘She’s an idiot.’ But now I have a pretty clear understanding of what I went through and what went on, and it’ll be apparent in the book.”

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Although Hefner notes this isn’t a salacious tell-all, readers are in for some heavy bombshells. “There are hard stories and people that have hurt me, and they’re in there,” says Hefner, noting that although the names of numerous women and celebrities have been changed, she’s not letting anyone off the hook. “The stories are very detailed, and there are things that have never been spoken about before.”

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“Building in Hawaii was a process of finding out what I want and who I am,” says Hefner. Tracey Lyn

Ultimately, she hopes her memoir will help other women. “I wish I had this book when I was 21 before going into the mansion,” Hefner says, adding that she believes her late husband would appreciate her sharing her perspective. “I hope that being such an advocate for freedom of speech, that [Hugh] would be an advocate for me telling my story. Women’s voices are getting louder, and that’s really important.”

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These days, the licensed realtor is busy flipping houses in Hawaii and L.A. (where she still owns a home) and venturing into the NFT space with First Ape Wives Club, a digital membership pass to a world of travel amenities, including booking upgrades and hotel bonuses. It’s a far cry from her life just six years ago. “I needed a change. I look at photos of when I was at the mansion, and it feels like I was wearing a costume,” admits Hefner, who had her breast implants removed in 2016. She’s dipped her toe into the dating waters since Hugh’s passing and says she wants to get married — “I’m definitely a romantic” — and have kids someday. “I get to spend time here in Hawaii and travel and hang out with people who have my best interests at heart,” adds Hefner. “Life is good.”

Reporting by Andrea Simpson

Crystal Hefner is on a path to healing. After 10 years living in the infamous Playboy Mansion, the former wife of Hugh Hefner — they were wed in 2012 until his death of natural causes in 2017 — is making a fresh start. She’s relocated from L.A. to Hawaii, where she’s renovated a home on 

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Advice

How Festivals Support and Promote New Talent

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Film festivals play a crucial role in supporting and promoting new talent in the film industry. These events serve as launching pads for emerging filmmakers, providing them with exposure, networking opportunities, and recognition that can jumpstart their careers. Here’s how film festivals contribute to nurturing new talent:

Showcasing Emerging Filmmakers’ Work

Film festivals create dedicated platforms for showcasing the work of up-and-coming filmmakers. Many festivals have specific categories or sections focused on emerging talent, giving these artists a chance to present their films to audiences, critics, and industry professionals. This exposure is invaluable for new filmmakers who might otherwise struggle to find venues for their work.

Providing Networking Opportunities

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One of the most significant benefits of film festivals for new talent is the networking opportunities they offer. These events bring together filmmakers, producers, distributors, and other industry professionals, creating an environment ripe for making connections. For emerging artists, these interactions can lead to collaborations, mentorship opportunities, or even funding for future projects.

Offering Awards and Recognition

Many film festivals have awards specifically designed to recognize and encourage new talent. These accolades can range from “Best Emerging Filmmaker” to awards for best debut feature or short film. Winning or even being nominated for such awards can significantly boost a filmmaker’s credibility and visibility within the industry.

Facilitating Industry Connections

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Some festivals go beyond mere screenings and actively work to connect emerging filmmakers with industry professionals. They may organize pitch sessions, workshops, or one-on-one meetings with producers and distributors. These initiatives can help new talent navigate the complex world of film production and distribution.

Providing Educational Opportunities

Many film festivals incorporate educational components such as masterclasses, panel discussions, and workshops. These sessions, often led by established industry professionals, provide valuable insights and skills to emerging filmmakers, helping them refine their craft and understand the business side of filmmaking.

Creating a Supportive Community

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Film festivals foster a sense of community among filmmakers, especially those just starting their careers. This supportive environment allows new talent to share experiences, learn from peers, and find encouragement in their artistic pursuits.

Offering Financial Support

Some festivals go beyond recognition and actively provide financial support to emerging filmmakers. This can come in the form of cash prizes for competition winners, grants for future projects, or even production support for works-in-progress.

Providing a Platform for Diverse Voices

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Film festivals often prioritize diversity and inclusion, giving platforms to underrepresented voices in the film industry. This focus helps bring fresh perspectives and stories to the forefront, enriching the cinematic landscape.

Facilitating Distribution Opportunities

For many emerging filmmakers, getting their work seen beyond the festival circuit is a significant challenge. Film festivals can serve as a bridge to distribution, with many distributors attending festivals specifically to scout new talent and acquire promising films.

Building Audience Awareness

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Film festivals help build audience awareness for new filmmakers. By including their work in festival programs and promoting them alongside more established names, festivals introduce emerging talent to audiences who might not otherwise discover their films.

In conclusion, film festivals play a multifaceted role in supporting and promoting new talent. They provide visibility, networking opportunities, recognition, education, and sometimes even financial support to emerging filmmakers. By doing so, they not only help launch individual careers but also contribute to the ongoing vitality and diversity of the film industry as a whole.

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61% Say: Online Love Succeeds

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Recent studies have shed light on the changing perceptions of online dating, revealing that a majority of adults now believe relationships that begin online are just as successful as those that start in person. This shift in attitude reflects the growing acceptance and normalization of digital matchmaking in our increasingly connected world.

The rise of online dating platforms has revolutionized how people meet potential partners. With 37% of U.S. adults reporting having used an online dating site or app, these digital tools have become a significant part of the modern dating landscape. As more people turn to these platforms, the stigma once associated with online dating has steadily eroded.

Several factors contribute to this positive outlook on online relationships:

1. Increased exposure and familiarity: As more people use dating apps and sites, either personally or through friends and family, the concept becomes less foreign and more accepted.

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2. Success stories: Many long-term relationships and marriages that began online serve as testament to the potential of digital matchmaking.

3. Improved algorithms and user experience: Dating platforms have refined their matching processes, leading to more compatible connections.

4. Changing social norms: The digital age has normalized online interactions in many aspects of life, including romance.

Despite this optimistic view, it’s important to note that online dating isn’t without challenges. Safety concerns, misrepresentation, and the potential for harassment are issues that platforms and users continue to navigate. However, these challenges don’t seem to outweigh the perceived benefits for many users.

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Interestingly, the perception of online dating success varies somewhat across demographics. College-educated online daters, for instance, are more likely to report positive experiences (63%) compared to those with a high school diploma or less (47%). This suggests that factors such as education and digital literacy may influence one’s experience and outlook on online dating.

The belief in the potential success of online relationships is further supported by actual outcomes. About 42% of online dating users report having been in a committed relationship or married someone they met through a dating site or app. This statistic lends credence to the idea that online connections can indeed lead to meaningful, lasting relationships.

As online dating continues to evolve and integrate into mainstream culture, it’s likely that the perception of its efficacy will continue to improve. The key for users seems to be approaching online dating with realistic expectations, prioritizing safety, and recognizing that while the medium of introduction may be different, the fundamentals of building a strong relationship remain the same.

In conclusion, the growing belief that online relationships can be just as successful as traditional ones reflects a broader acceptance of digital tools in our personal lives. As technology continues to shape how we connect and interact, it’s clear that online dating has secured its place as a legitimate and potentially fruitful path to finding love and companionship in the modern age.

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Entertainment

The Hawk Tuah Phenomenon: How a 21-Second Video Sparked a Cultural Revolution

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In an age where internet fame is fleeting, one 21-second video has managed to captivate America and ignite a cultural firestorm. Meet Hailey Welch, the 21-year-old factory worker from rural Belfast, Tennessee, who became an overnight sensation as the “Hawk Tuah Girl.”It all started with a candid street interview where Welch, responding to a provocative question, used the onomatopoeic phrase “hawk tuah” to describe a suggestive act. Her animated delivery, thick Southern accent, and unabashed confidence turned what could have been a forgettable moment into a viral sensation.Within a week, the video exploded across social media platforms:
  • Over 8 million views on Instagram
  • Half a million views on TikTok
  • Countless memes and remixes created by users worldwide

But the “Hawk Tuah” phenomenon is more than just another viral video. It’s sparked intense debates about class, cultural perceptions, and the nature of authenticity in the digital age.Some view Welch as a symbol of working-class America finding its voice in the mainstream. Others see her sudden fame as a reflection of our culture’s obsession with shock value over substance. The phenomenon has even caught the attention of academics, who’ve coined terms like “onomatopic ricochet” to describe the concept.As the trend continues to evolve, it’s intersecting with various aspects of pop culture:

  • Country artist Zach Bryan has seen a resurgence in popularity alongside the trend
  • Merchandise featuring the “Hawk Tuah” phrase is selling out rapidly
  • There are rumors of potential Hollywood representation for Welch

The “Hawk Tuah” phenomenon raises important questions about our values, the content we celebrate, and the power of viral moments to shape cultural discourse. As we navigate this digital landscape, one thing is clear: in just 21 seconds, Hailey Welch has managed to capture the complexity of modern American culture, for better or worse.What do you think about the “Hawk Tuah” phenomenon? Is it a harmless bit of fun, or a sign of deeper cultural shifts? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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