Former Playmate Miki Garcia claims she ‘refused’ Hugh Hefner’s ‘advances’ in doc: ‘This man was relentless’

on Feb8
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Miki Garcia has attempted to speak out about Playboy long before the #MeToo movement or even the explosive A&E docuseries that’s been airing Monday nights.

It was 1985 when Playboy’s Miss January 1973 and former head of promotions spoke out against Hugh Hefner. She alleged to a federal panel that the magazine publisher encouraged drug use and coerced Playmates into participating in orgies. Hefner denied the allegations, saying Garcia lied at the hearing to stir interest in an unsold book.

″This ex-employee has been attempting to peddle a book about Playboy which has been rejected by every publisher to whom it has been submitted,” he said in a statement at the time read by Playboy spokesman Don Rogers.

Garcia was one of several women to come forward in the 10-part docuseries titled “Secrets of Playboy,” which aims to look at the brand’s complicated legacy and its founder, who died in 2017 at age 91.

SEVERAL PLAYBOY BUNNIES WERE THREATENED WITH REVENGE PORN IN 1979, DOC CLAIMS: ‘THEY NEVER HAD ANY HELP’

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017 at age 91.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017 at age 91.
(Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)

It features new interviews with numerous members of Hefner’s staff and inner circle, as well as past girlfriends.

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,” the Playboy statement added. “We will never be afraid to confront the parts of our legacy as a company that do not reflect our values today.

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Miki Garcia was a Playboy Playmate before she became Head of Promotions for the brand.

Miki Garcia was a Playboy Playmate before she became Head of Promotions for the brand.
(A&E)

“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.”

Garcia spoke to Fox News Digital about why she’s participating in the special, how she endured hardship after Playboy and why she stayed with the brand for as long as she did.

Fox News: Why did you choose to speak out in “Secrets of Playboy”?
Miki Garcia: I left the company in 1982 because of the exploitation of the Playmates. I testified in 1985, which was quite controversial at the time, against Hugh Hefner’s abuse of women. This docuseries is proving and vindicating the many women who knew about the abuse and tried to come forward long before the #MeToo movement. After my testimony, Hugh Hefner called me a liar and said I was just trying to sell a book.

The fact is, he was the one telling the lies. While he was alive, he made sure that my voice was not heard. And when [director] Alexandra Dean contacted me, I checked her credentials and found them to be absolutely stellar. She was the right person to give us all the strength to make sure our voices would be heard.

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Capt. Galand Kramer and his date, Playboy magazine model Miki Garcia, at a White House dinner honoring returned prisoners of war. Photographed May 24, 1973, in Washington, D.C.

Capt. Galand Kramer and his date, Playboy magazine model Miki Garcia, at a White House dinner honoring returned prisoners of war. Photographed May 24, 1973, in Washington, D.C.
(Photo by Unknown Photographer/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Fox News: You started as a Playmate, but then crossed over to head of promotions for Playboy. Why?
Garcia: I decided to go after the position because I had traveled through the company for four years and during that time, something horrific happened to me. I was not able to speak out. I was threatened by a very powerful man. I also incurred a lot of other negative experiences. I thought I could make a difference. I could protect the women more, give them better working conditions, up their pay.

I also wanted to broaden their modeling experiences, which would also enhance Playboy. My goal was really to make a difference. We were a sexually charged brand and the women really needed to be protected. I was not, and it wasn’t the failure of the person that I reported to at Playboy. It was simply that Playboy had not acknowledged the dangers these women faced.

Fox News: What’s a misconception you feel the public still has about Hugh Hefner and what’s the reality?
Garcia: The reality is he abused [the women] in many ways. They were quite young and he introduced them to behaviors in the bedroom that maybe many of them wouldn’t have engaged in if they weren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He pushed this incredible Playboy mystique, a Shangri-La. He treated each woman special individually. But in reality, he was manipulating them. From my standpoint… he breached our model releases both ethically and morally, which is something I speak out more about in the docuseries.

Fox News: Some critics have said, Why speak out now? What’s your response?
Garcia: Hugh Hefner affected the livelihoods, reputations and names of these women. These are things we can’t get back from the past. We can look and say, “This can never happen again.” But the Playmates are suffering in the present… Many Playmates have been afraid, very afraid, to speak out. I think women need to stand up and call him out. And because he’s dead, many women may now have the opportunity to speak truthfully… He had an incredible amount of power and control over the media. But now is the time for these women to come forward and say, “This is what happened to me.”

HUNDREDS OF EX PLAYBOY PLAYMATES, STAFFERS DEFEND HUGH HEFNER CITING ‘UNFOUNDED’ ALLEGATIONS IN LETTER

Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend Sondra Theodore previously spoke to Fox News Digital about her involvement with "Secrets of Playboy."

Hugh Hefner’s ex-girlfriend Sondra Theodore previously spoke to Fox News Digital about her involvement with “Secrets of Playboy.”
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Those that had a wonderful experience with Playboy, I think they should be heard as well. And I know the current owner of Playboy issued a statement saying that all these women should be heard and they are supporting us. I applaud them for doing that. It’s a little light in the end.

Fox News: Some of those critics have argued that if these women had such horrible experiences, then they should have walked away sooner. What’s your stance?
Garcia: First of all, there was stigmatization of the woman. Once she became a Playmate, it was very difficult for her to be transported back into the workforce. I know for myself it became very difficult. I was not able to get employment after Playboy. I finally became a real estate agent, which gave me an independent contractor status… But I was still – I don’t want to say abused – but my background gave some people reason not to give me work.

… Another realtor hit me extremely hard in my right breast… This agent was angry because I wouldn’t do an open house for him and he wanted to be there. So he waited and then attacked me. It was reported by another agent that saw [it]. I was afraid to report it because I thought I wouldn’t get the job. I feared I would be fired. So there’s stigmatization that the women endure, which affects their livelihoods.

Another thing is that the Playmates were very young when they were brought into this huge monolithic brand… They were known as the girl next door, but not everyone was going to be accepting of that. Some got great fortune, but others struggled with drugs. They weren’t prepared for the real world. And even in Hollywood, they were faced with the casting couch and all that because of that stigmatization… I think people need to see this docuseries objectively so they can decide for themselves… But we can’t change anything unless we stand together and speak up.

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

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)

Fox News: A lot of women said they didn’t experience any kind of abuse from Hugh Hefner.
Garcia: … That is true, of course, but those who got very close to his fire were burned. And it was sad. I reported to Hefner that [some women] were suffering from the effects of drug addiction. I couldn’t put them out into the public yet. They needed to pay their rent. Hef didn’t pay their rent. He didn’t pay women until later in his old age. But in the ‘70s and ‘80s… these women had to figure out how to get rent money. Their lives were in his hands and he had a huge grip.

Hefner accomplished many things in life that can be viewed as positive and they were. But people also really need to look at the other side of Hefner, the dark side, and factor that into his legacy. This should never happen again. Never should women be abused by a man in power. He supported civil rights and abortion [rights]…. But he [took my] freedom of speech away. He would not allow me to… speak to the press. So when we think of Hugh Hefner, let’s think of his legacy in its entirety, both the good and bad… This man was relentless in his hedonistic activities. He was relentless. I refused his advances and I was punished for it. I never wanted Hefner to have that kind of control over me.

Fox News: What’s one message you hope audiences will get from this series?
Garcia: I hope people understand that we had no one to defend us… Aside from the drugs, the sex, all of those more salacious types of subjects, there was financial abuse. We were affected in many ways. And we need to understand how this could have all happened.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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