Former Playboy bunny and “The Girls Next Door” reality star Holly Madison’s new tell-all, "Down The Rabbit Hole" just hit bookshelves and is already creating enough controversy to elicit comments from fellow former bunny Kendra Wilkinson and even Hugh Hefner himself. We call up Madison to clear the air.
Were you nervous about releasing a tell-all?
Absolutely. There are a lot of things in the book that I’m embarrassed about. I rag on myself as much as I rag on anyone else. I hope other people can learn from the mistakes I made. But, you know, people already think the worst of me. When I left the Mansion, I just wanted to start over and not have anything to do with Playboy. When people asked me about it I would give a really generic answer. I just felt like it was the elephant in the room and something I couldn’t get away from.
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In the book, you describe having sex with Hef, something you never once enjoyed. Did any of the girls enjoy having sex with him?
I don’t think so. I felt like all the girls [saw it as] a chore and just wanted to get it over with as soon as possible.
Did drugs play a part in helping the girls get through difficult aspects of the lifestyle?
There were definitely some girls who used drugs at the Mansion and offered me drugs. Hef offered me Quaaludes our first night out. [In Madison’s book, Hefner is quoted as saying, “In the ‘70s, they used to call these drugs thigh openers.”] I drank a lot on our nights out because I wasn’t always 100 percent comfortable with what was going on. So yeah, I do think drugs probably played a part.
In the book, you describe how after you announced you were leaving the Mansion, Hefner left his will on his bed for you to see that you would inherit millions if you stayed. Do you think that he really did love you?
I think at one point he thought he loved me, but I realized at the end that if he did, it was only because he felt comfortable around me and knew I was easy to control. But I don’t think he really was because a few days before I became his “main girlfriend” he had another “main girlfriend.” We were interchangeable. I didn’t want somebody to settle down with me just because they were getting older and weren’t energetic enough to go to the clubs anymore and hit on other women. I finally realized that I deserved better.
At one point while living at the mansion, you actually contemplated suicide.
It’s hard to talk about feeling suicidal because people want to jump down your throat and accuse you of attention-seeking or not believe you. But I felt so bad about myself and lost to the situation. I felt [tied] to the decisions I made and branded. I was scared to leave.
How did you pull yourself out of such a dark place?
It took a lot. I was at the mansion for four years before we started filming [“The Girls Next Door”]. The reality show really helped save me because when you film a reality show, you need interesting things to do. We started traveling more, I got a job at the Playboy studios where I was learning and meeting artistic people. Having an actual job helped my self-confidence and helped me grow.
The book just came out a couple days ago and is already making headlines. Is there anything you’ve read in the press you want to comment on or clear up?
I’m really, really surprised by how much attention the book is getting. I didn’t really think I was relevant and thought the only publicity it would get would be word of mouth. Of course scandalous things come out and people respond, but I can tell from what they are saying that they haven’t actually read the book; they’ve only read an excerpt or headline. The book is over 300 pages for a reason. I wanted to tell my story. I wanted to be fair about where I was coming from. I wanted to be honest about what my motivations were and the decisions I made. So, I would encourage people to read the whole book before they judge.
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