Playboy Bunny Adrienne Pollack’s 1973 death still raises questions, sister says: ‘It never made sense to us’

on Feb26
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Beverly Enright has always believed her sister, Adrienne Pollack, was involved with drug trafficking before her sudden death.

The Playboy Bunny passed away in 1973 at age 23. She overdosed just three weeks after her birthday. Enright is adamant that her sister’s involvement with the Playboy Mansion resulted in her demise.

Enright recently spoke out on A&E’s 10-part docuseries “Secrets of Playboy,” which examines the magazine empire and its founder Hugh Hefner. It features new interviews with numerous members of Hefner’s staff and inner circle, as well as ex-girlfriends and Playmates. Hefner died in 2017 at age 91.

Adrienne Pollack's involvement with the Playboy Mansion resulted in her 1973 demise, sister claims.

Adrienne Pollack’s involvement with the Playboy Mansion resulted in her 1973 demise, sister claims.
(Getty Images)

“I wanted the story to get out there, that there were problems with Playboy that were never really explored,” Enright told Fox News Digital. “I don’t believe my sister’s death was simply an overdose. But at the time so many people brushed us aside. So when I was offered to speak out for this documentary, I said yes. Because I remained hopeful that someone would uncover what really went on behind the scenes at Playboy.”

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Enright described the Illinois native as someone who easily commanded any room she entered.

“My sister was very energetic,” Enright described. “She would walk into a room and immediately be noticed. Of course, she was beautiful, but she was also adventurous. She was mischievous and liked to do things that were contrary to what you should do at times. She certainly knew how to use her personality to get attention.”

Adrienne Pollack was just 23 years old when she passed away.

Adrienne Pollack was just 23 years old when she passed away.
(Courtesy of Beverly Enright)

According to Enright, Pollack was studying to become a dental hygienist after high school. To earn extra bucks, she found work as a reservationist at a local Howard Johnson’s. From there she pursued modeling gigs and eventually was scouted to become a Playboy Bunny.

“I used to help her practice,” Enright chuckled. “I was in high school and she was around 21. She had to learn how to stand a certain way and serve drinks like a Bunny. I don’t think she thought anything of it, other than it was just a glamorous waitressing job.”

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In 1960, Hefner, a Chicago native, opened a string of clubs around the country where waitresses wore revealing costumes with bunny ears and fluffy tails. By the 1970s, Playboy magazine had more than 7 million readers.

Beverly Enright said her sister Adrienne Pollack enjoyed working as a Playboy Bunny - at first.

Beverly Enright said her sister Adrienne Pollack enjoyed working as a Playboy Bunny – at first.
(Courtesy of Beverl)

Enright said that at first, Pollack enjoyed working as a Bunny. But eventually, Enright said they lost touch because she began traveling and working with Bobbie Arnstein, Hefner’s social secretary. She also lived at the Playboy Mansion in Chicago.

“She didn’t come home for a long time,” said Enright. “We didn’t hear from her, we didn’t see her, we didn’t have much contact. And back then, there were no cellphones. We just had a phone in our kitchen and that was it. The last couple of years, she was kind of in and out. We didn’t see her consistently. And truthfully, we didn’t know much about Playboy at the time. We knew what the Bunnies were and of course, we knew about the magazine. But we certainly didn’t know what went on behind the scenes. We just thought it was a glamorous waitressing job where you could possibly meet lots of important people passing by. But I know my parents secretly hoped she would pursue something else.”

Enright said that the year before Pollack passed away, she noticed some changes in her sibling’s behavior. Enright noted that she never suspected that her sister was using hard drugs.

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Beverly Enright said she noticed her sister Adrienne Pollack's demeanor changed in the months leading up to her death.

Beverly Enright said she noticed her sister Adrienne Pollack’s demeanor changed in the months leading up to her death.
(Courtesy of Beverly Enright)

“She was nice at times, but then she would just get really angry,” Enright recalled. “It wasn’t like her. I wondered if something was going on in her life, but she wouldn’t say. I knew she was experiencing problems with her boyfriend. But I found it very odd.”

The last time Enright saw Pollack was on her sister’s birthday. Pollack had visited the family and it was a joyous occasion. The two women had made plans to see each other again. Their mother promised to mail Pollack the photos that were taken that day. They arrived a day after Pollack’s death. Enright was 18 at the time.

“I was devastated,” Enright admitted. “Even though we didn’t see each other very much that last year and a half that she was at Playboy, even though she was having issues with her boyfriend, we were always close. She understood me. It just felt so senseless how she died. We had so many questions and yet so few answers. It never made sense to us.”

Beverly Enright said she wonders what really happened on the day her sister Adrienne Pollack (pictured here) passed away.

Beverly Enright said she wonders what really happened on the day her sister Adrienne Pollack (pictured here) passed away.
(Courtesy of Beverly Enright)

“We learned that she apparently wanted to exit out of Playboy and move on to something else,” Enright continued. “Why didn’t she? Did Playboy have anything to do with that? And the investigation was so short-lived. Why wasn’t there a more thorough investigation into what was going on at the Playboy Mansion? At times, it felt like the newspapers were getting more information about my sister’s death than my own parents.”

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Pollack died from a quaalude overdose. In the documentary, several Playboy insiders alleged that the sedative was frequently used at the mansion. Lisa Loving Barrett, Hefner’s executive assistant from 1977 until 1989, described the drug as “a necessary evil, if you will, to the partying.”

Hefner’s girlfriend, Sondra Theodore, also alleged that quaaludes were used for sex at the mansion, which were also called “the leg spreaders.” Holly Madison, Hefner’s girlfriend from 2001 until 2008, also alleged that quaaludes were passed around among Hefner’s inner circle for decades. Joe Piastro, Playboy’s head of security, claimed that he witnessed “bowls of quaaludes” in Los Angeles.

Bobbie Arnstein, Hugh Hefner's personal secretary, is led away in handcuffs by a federal agent after she was arrested on a drug charge in Chicago. Arnstein was arrested at the Playboy mansion and indicted for purchasing a pound of cocaine in Miami, in 1971, and bringing it to Chicago for sale.

Bobbie Arnstein, Hugh Hefner’s personal secretary, is led away in handcuffs by a federal agent after she was arrested on a drug charge in Chicago. Arnstein was arrested at the Playboy mansion and indicted for purchasing a pound of cocaine in Miami, in 1971, and bringing it to Chicago for sale.
(Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

P.J. Masten, who worked in six Playboy clubs across the country from 1972 until 1982, alleged in the documentary that “a lot of Bunnies… said Adrienne and Bobbie Arnstein supplied drugs for the Chicago mansion for parties, for Hefner and his VIPs,” People magazine reported.

After Pollack’s death, a federal inquiry was launched concerning the possible use of hard drugs at the Playboy mansions, The New York Times reported. According to the outlet, Hefner was to be subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury investigating the death. Hefner claimed he never met Pollack.

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In 1975, Arnstein, 34, died of lethal doses of three prescription drugs in the locked room of a Chicago hotel where she was registered under an assumed name, the outlet reported. At the time, Hefner asserted that Arnstein had been hounded into killing herself by federal prosecutors conducting “a politically motivated anti-Playboy witch hunt” involving the alleged use of narcotics at the mansion.

Hugh Hefner helps carry the casket containing the body of his executive secretary Bobbie Arnstein. The 32-year-old, who was serving a 15-year prison sentence on federal drug charges and was free pending her appeal and a court ordered psychiatric examination, committed suicide. 

Hugh Hefner helps carry the casket containing the body of his executive secretary Bobbie Arnstein. The 32-year-old, who was serving a 15-year prison sentence on federal drug charges and was free pending her appeal and a court ordered psychiatric examination, committed suicide. 
(Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

Before her death, Arnstein was arrested on drug possession charges outside the mansion, where she lived, and later convicted, along with two men, of conspiring to distribute a half-pound of cocaine, the outlet reported. Arnstein was given a conditional sentence of 15 years and was free pending an appeal at the time of her passing. In a letter addressed to her attorney found at the hotel room, Arnstein wrote she was innocent and “personally only indulged in occasional drug use.” Arnstein also insisted Hefner “has never been involved in the criminal activity which is being attributed to him now.”

Enright is adamant that Pollack may have been involved with drug trafficking at the mansion.

“A lot of these girls come from small towns and think they can make good money quickly,” she said. “It appeared more glamorous. These girls got hooked into a cult. They had no idea they were being used until it was too late… And I felt once you became involved, you couldn’t get out of it so easily. And my sister was still a person. She was a daughter, a human being.”

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Playboy Magazine publisher Hugh Hefner at a news conference in connection with the death of his executive secretary Bobbie Arnstein, who committed suicide. 

Playboy Magazine publisher Hugh Hefner at a news conference in connection with the death of his executive secretary Bobbie Arnstein, who committed suicide. 
(Getty Images)

Enright’s family was destroyed by Pollack’s passing. She said their father, who struggled with alcoholism and depression, took his life in 1988 at age 68. David Reuben, a former Cook County State’s Attorney, said that “we could not prove that the mansions had massive amounts of drugs or drug activity,” People magazine reported. Jerry Pingitore, Pollack’s boyfriend, alleged at the time that Pollack was involved with drug trafficking at the mansion. He passed away in 2009.

Without Arnstein’s testimony, Pollack’s case was closed in the spring of 1975.

Enright is still hopeful that someday, she’ll find the answers she’s been searching for about her sister.

Beverly Enright (right) said her sister Adrienne Pollack's death impacted the family over the years.

Beverly Enright (right) said her sister Adrienne Pollack’s death impacted the family over the years.
(Courtesy of Beverly Enright)

“I miss her every day,” she said. “I just want to know what really happened. There is no doubt in my mind that Hefner was a monster. He controlled so many people’s lives and then destroyed them.”

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A&E pointed out that the docuseries “contains allegations of wrongdoing over decades by Hugh Hefner and others associated with him. The vast majority of allegations have not been the subject of criminal investigations or charges, and they do not constitute proof of guilt.”

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

Beverly Enright remains hopeful that someday, someone with information about her sister Adrienne Pollack will come forward.

Beverly Enright remains hopeful that someday, someone with information about her sister Adrienne Pollack will come forward.
(Courtesy Beverly Enright)

“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. 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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“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 Associated Press contributed to this report.



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