Several Playboy Bunnies were threatened with revenge porn in 1979, doc claims: ‘They never had any help’

on Feb4
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Several Playboy Bunnies were allegedly tricked into a series of on-camera rapes in 1979 during the brand’s silver anniversary.

The claim was made on A&E’s 10-part docuseries titled “Secrets of Playboy.” It features new interviews with numerous members of Hugh Hefner’s staff and inner circle, as well as past girlfriends.

The magazine publisher passed away in 2017 at age 91.

Suzanne Charneski, who was a Bunny at New Jersey’s Great Gorge Playboy Club from 1979 until 1982, recalled how some women were invited to a remote cabin by a group of men.

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Hugh Hefner's magazine empire is being scrutinized in a new docuseries for A&E titled ‘Secrets of Playboy’.

Hugh Hefner’s magazine empire is being scrutinized in a new docuseries for A&E titled ‘Secrets of Playboy’.
(Photo by Ted West/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“[They] told them they were big Hollywood producers, and they wanted them to be in a movie,” Charneski alleged, as quoted by People magazine on Thursday.

“[The women] went thinking that they were going to be in a Hollywood production,” she said. However, Charneski alleged the Bunnies “were drugged. And they were raped. And they videotaped them. They were kept there for a couple of days and then they were released. They were told if they told anybody that the videos would go out and broadcast the videos and that their careers would be over and their lives would be over.”

According to the outlet, the women didn’t report the alleged crimes to Playboy management out of fear of professional repercussions since the incident in question happened off company property. The outlet noted that the official policy was not to fraternize with patrons.

“However, it got out because girls talk to each other,” said Charneski. “It rocked Playboy’s world. It was not a time that they would want such a scandal because this was the 25th anniversary of Playboy.”

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Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner (1926 - 2017) with a group of Playboy Bunnies at the Grand Opening of the Playboy Hotel-Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, circa 1981.

Playboy impresario Hugh Hefner (1926 – 2017) with a group of Playboy Bunnies at the Grand Opening of the Playboy Hotel-Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, circa 1981.
(Photo by Derek Hudson/Getty Images)

P.J. Masten, who worked for Playboy from 1972 until 1982, corroborated Charneski’s claims.

“These girls were fired, they were told to get off the property and never come back there,” Masten alleged, as quoted by the outlet. “They were newbies so they didn’t have Bunny friends, didn’t have the senior Bunnies. They were never offered therapy. They never went to a doctor, they never had any help.”

Charneski alleged that the men were caught, but that members of Hefner’s corporation came to “minimize” the fallout of the crime because “Playboy at that time was extremely powerful.”

“You would think that Playboy would want to help young ladies by preparing them for something like that,” she said. “[Instead, many women were] muffled [and] discarded” because “the image of the Playboy Bunny had to remain sterling silver.”

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The allegation in question took place around the 25th anniversary of Playboy.

The allegation in question took place around the 25th anniversary of Playboy.
(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Masten claimed she became aware of dozens of alleged incidents of sexual abuse and assault because of her romantic involvement with Joe Piastro, Playboy’s head of security.

“In the 10 years that I worked for Playboy, I would venture to say that there were probably 40 to 50 young women that were silenced by Playboy because of abuse, sexual abuse,” she alleged.

“It was a lucrative job [so women] were afraid to come forward with a VIP assault — they would lose their job because that’s how it worked with Playboy,” Masten explained. “You open your mouth, you’re out of here. And there was a constant turnover of Bunnies. Constant.”

“If anything scandalous happened, we had to clean it up so it would not hit the press, and it certainly wouldn’t go to the police department, and there were scandals in every club,” Masten claimed. “You weren’t allowed to take them to a hospital. It was a big thing for Hefner to not have that kind of heat, he did not want the LAPD coming down on him.”

PLAYBOY BUNNY DANIELLE LUPO DEFENDS HUGH HEFNER, SAYS HEFNER’S SON IS ‘HURT’ BY ‘SECRETS OF PLAYBOY’ DOC

A group of Playboy Bunnies line up for inspection by Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy magazine, in the main room of Playboy Mansion in Chicago. Hefner is inspecting the new improved fabric for the costumes.

A group of Playboy Bunnies line up for inspection by Hugh Hefner, publisher of Playboy magazine, in the main room of Playboy Mansion in Chicago. Hefner is inspecting the new improved fabric for the costumes.
(Getty Images)

A disclaimer appeared during the doc, reminding viewers that “the vast majority of the allegations” made in the series “have not been the subject of criminal investigations or charges, and they do not constitute proof of guilt.”

In the series, former Playboy Bunny Holly Madison alleged she was afraid to leave the Playboy Mansion out of fear of repercussions, specifically a “mountain of revenge porn” that the late publisher allegedly had in his possession. The 42-year-old dated Hefner from 2001 to 2008.

“When I lived at the mansion, I was afraid to leave,” Madison claimed, as quoted by Entertainment Weekly. “Something that was always lingering in the back of my mind, I think since the very beginning, was that, if I left, there was just this mountain of revenge porn just waiting to come out.”

“When you would go out with Hef, he’s taking all kinds of naked pictures of these women, when we’re wasted out of our minds, and he would print out like, eight copies for him and all the women,” she continued. “[You would] pass them around. It’s just gross.”

FORMER PLAYBOY BUNNIES CLAIM THEY SUFFERED ‘HUMILIATING’ WEIGH-INS, BODY-SHAMING: DOC

Hugh Hefner with Playboy Bunny Holly Madison.

Hugh Hefner with Playboy Bunny Holly Madison.
(Photo by M. Tran/FilmMagic)

Following the claims, Hefner’s widow Crystal publicly reached out to Madison to let her know that she destroyed such photos.

“I found thousands of those disposable camera photos you are talking about @hollymadison,” the 35-year-old tweeted. “I immediately ripped them up and destroyed every single one of them for you and the countless other women in them.”

She concluded: “They’re gone.”

Madison fired off a simple but grateful response: “Thank you @crystalhefner.”

“Secrets of Playboy” director Alexandra Dean told Fox News Digital she was “thrilled” to hear Crystal destroyed the images.

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Hugh Hefner's widow Crystal Hefner (pictured here) publicly reached out to Holly Madison.

Hugh Hefner’s widow Crystal Hefner (pictured here) publicly reached out to Holly Madison.
(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy)

“I know for many women, those photos kind of hung over their heads and made them feel like they couldn’t really be honest about what happened to them,” said Dean. “They were just frightened that these photos would come out. It was the same with some tapes that have allegedly been recorded without the women’s consent.”

In response to the docuseries, a spokesperson for Playboy issued a statement to Fox News Digital.

“Today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy,” the statement began. “We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences. As a brand with sex positivity at its core, we believe safety, security, and accountability are paramount.”

“The most important thing we can do right now is actively listen and learn from their experiences,” it continued. “We will never be afraid to confront the parts of our legacy as a company that do not reflect our values today.”

PLAYBOY HUGH HEFNER DOCUSERIES SHEDS LIGHT ON DEBAUCHERY, ALLEGED DRUGGING OF WOMEN AT FAMED MANSION

Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017 at age 91.

Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017 at age 91.
(Photo by Dan Tuffs/Getty Images)

“As an organization with a more than 80% female workforce, we are committed to our ongoing evolution as a company and to driving positive change for our communities,” the statement concluded.

Hefner’s son Cooper also took to Twitter to defend his late father.

“Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar,” the 30-year-old tweeted. “However unconventional, he was sincere in his approach and lived honestly. He was generous in nature and cared deeply for people. These salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge.”





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