The Playboy Mansion is one of the most infamous buildings in America. It is located in Los Angeles, California, and it was the home of Hugh Hefner, who founded the Playboy magazine. By the 1970s, people all over the country were dying to get in. Parties at the Playboy Mansion were simply extravagant, not to mention filled with beautiful women.
For the more modest American, the Playboy Mansion is often synonymous with a den of iniquity. However, countless celebrities have passed through these elite doors to enjoy many wild and lavish nights. Hugh Hefner adored the mansion he called his home, and he spent more time and money than anyone could imagine to make it exactly how he wanted it. He hired dozens of “playmates” to keep him company at all times, gorgeous young women with flawless hair, perfect teeth, clear skin, and skimpy outfits. Hugh Hefner may have been 91 when he died in 2017, but he never seemed to outgrow his lavish lifestyle.
However, the Playboy Mansion earned its notoriety for a reason – well, many reasons. From manipulation of the mansion’s playmates to disgusting living conditions, the pristine walls of the Mansion held many dirty secrets. In today’s video, we’re going to take a peek past the facade and look at what really went on in the Playboy Mansion.
Make sure you stick around until the very end of the video, where we’ll reveal which legendary rock and roll star spent a wild night in this very mansion! Before we get started, be sure to like this video, and don’t forget to subscribe and click that notification bell so you can stay up to date with all of our videos!
Facts Verse Presents: Sleazy Secrets from Inside the Playboy Mansion
Hugh Had Up to a Dozen Girlfriends at a Time
Everyone knows about the “playmates” who lived in the Playboy Mansion, but Hugh also ranked the women who lived there. At any given time, he would have between two and a dozen “girlfriends” who were paid extra. He would always have a favorite, sometimes referred to as his “number one,” who would stay with him in his bedroom.
Every week, Hugh would give them a bonus of $1,000, which he referred to as an allowance. However, each of his “girlfriends” had extremely strict rules. They were forced to follow a curfew, which meant they had to be within the walls of the mansion by 9 every night. Furthermore, they weren’t allowed to bring any male guests. If they ever broke a rule, they would be sent an email reminding them of their infraction. If they broke too many rules, they would be kicked out of the mansion.
Even though Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends always looked happy in photos, behind closed doors, their lives were much less glamorous. Many were simply in the business to make money, but they ended up leaving because the living conditions simply weren’t worth it. One former playmate, Melissa Howe, explained “You’ve got to show everything in a good light.” If a playmate looked unhappy in a photo, she would be in trouble.
The Parties Were Extremely Elite
Despite many of the mansion’s playmates wishing for a better life, outsiders from across the country longed to enter the Playboy Mansion’s gates. Hugh Hefner himself had the final say in who was allowed to enter, and he was extremely picky. Only the most talented of celebrities and the wealthiest of socialites were allowed past the infamous gates of the Playboy Mansion.
Occasionally, people were able to find tickets on sale during auctions. Real tickets would sell for thousands of dollars, but many people would sell fakes as a way to make some quick cash.
The Original Playboy Mansion Wasn’t in Los Angeles
Hugh Hefner lived in the Los Angeles Playboy Mansion for 43 years. Before that, however, he had a different mansion in Chicago. This is the city where Hugh Hefner lived when he founded Playboy Magazine.
It wasn’t until much later that Hugh Hefner decided to kick things up a notch. He decided that Los Angeles better suited his lavish lifestyle, and he moved locations in 1974. After he moved out of the original mansion, he decided to lease it to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he had once taken drawing classes. The building was used as a dorm for five years.
Hugh Hefner’s Home Life Was Very Different
Hugh Hefner was known throughout his adulthood for his risque magazine and “alternative” lifestyle. However, growing up, his life was very different. His parents were Methodist, very conservative, and the embodiment of the Midwest. Hefner’s mother, Grace Caroline Hefner, had hoped her son would become a missionary. How very wrong she was!
As a child, Hugh’s IQ was a stunning 152, and his parents knew he was destined for great things. He drew comics in his free time, and he even managed to get a few of them published. He showed an interest in the arts, and he graduated with two minors: Art and Creative Writing. After college, Hugh worked as a copywriter for some time, but he felt his talents weren’t being appreciated. He asked for a five-dollar raise, but he was rejected. As a result, Hugh quit, and he soon founded his very own magazine. Who could have guessed he would end up following such a risque lifestyle?
The Tone of the Playboy Mansion Changed in 1985
Hugh Hefner suffered a minor stroke when he was 58, on March 7th, 1985. He suddenly realized that he needed to take better care of himself, and he decided it was best to slow down on the wild parties. In 1988, he convinced his daughter, Christie, to take care of the business end of the mansion so that he could relax more. He settled down and married Kimberley Conrad in 1989, and together, they had two sons. Hefner filed for divorce in 2009, but he never resumed his wild lifestyle. It seemed to work, too; Hefner lived to the age of 91.
The Playboy Mansion Was Filthy
Even though the mansion always appeared pristine in photos, several former playmates opened up about the filthy conditions they were forced to live in. Their rooms had been painted light pink, and the carpets were white. This may have looked cute if everything had been kept clean, but Hugh Hefner was too busy to bother with the upkeep. One of his favorite girlfriends had two dogs, both of which were untrained. As a result, many of the other playmates were in danger of stepping in feces at any moment of the day.
Furthermore, Izabella St. James, a former playmate, opened up about some of the other disgusting conditions in her book, Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion. She admitted “Although we all did our best to decorate our rooms and make them homey, the mattresses on our beds were disgusting- old, worn, and stained. The sheets were past their best, too.” Hugh never bothered to change mattresses, and the playmates had to purchase these items with their own money just to have livable conditions.
The Mansion Is Also a Zoo
Hugh Hefner loved all things exotic, and that applied to animals, as well. He managed to earn a zoo license for the mansion – an extremely difficult feat. Very few private residences are legally permitted to keep zoo animals.
Hefner loved to keep the grounds of his mansion covered in birds of all sorts. He had peacocks, flamingos, macaws, and even toucans! Birds aren’t the only creatures that reside in the Playboy Mansion’s zoo, however. There are also a hundred squirrel monkeys, a variety of snakes, and at one point, a tiger. After he died in 2017, many people were worried about the fate of the zoo animals. Thankfully, the new owner of the mansion, Daren Metropoulos, is an animal lover himself, and he decided to keep the zoo.
The Grotto Was Infected With Bacteria
After the Playboy Mansion hosted a fundraising event in 2011, over 200 individuals reported becoming seriously ill. After a bit of investigation, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that the illness was caused by a bacterial infection known to cause Legionnaires’ disease. The beautiful hot tub known as the Grotto was infested with the disease, which left 200 attendees in terrible condition. Thankfully, nobody died from the outbreak, but the Playboy Mansion’s reputation was forever tarnished as a result. Hopefully, Hugh Hefner worked harder to keep the place clean afterward.
The Playboy Mansion Has a Permanent Fireworks Permit
The Playboy Mansion became Los Angeles’ only private home to be allowed a permanent fireworks permit. Certainly, Hugh Hefner’s immense wealth was able to give him some pull when he requested the permit. The mansion is best known for its spectacular Fourth of July display, which brings in crowds by the thousands. Even if only a few people are allowed within the mansion’s grounds, the display is still visible for miles in every direction.
One Legendary Rock and Roll Star Left His Mark on the Mansion
The Playboy Mansion has a total of 29 rooms, which include a screening room, a wine cellar, and a game room. However, one room is even more spectacular than the others combined. Dubbed “The Elvis Room,” this bedroom was reserved for the Rock and Roll King, Elvis Presley himself, along with any playmates he chose to bring along with him. Hugh Hefner was incredibly choosy with his guests, but it seems he respected Elvis Presley above all. After all, he didn’t dedicate entire rooms to any other celebrity. Even after Elvis’ death, the room remained untouched.
The Playboy Mansion may have appeared glamorous on the outside, but inside its walls, it held many dark and dirty secrets. Were you more surprised to learn that the mansion had its own zoo license, or that Hugh Hefner treated his playmates quite poorly? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to subscribe to Facts Verse for more videos.