My mom was a Playmate and Hugh Hefner‘s girlfriend from 1976 to 1981. When I was growing up in Los Angeles as a kid, I spent a lot of time at the Playboy Mansion. My mom first brought me there in 1988, when I was 3 months old, and I’ve been going back ever since. I’m what they call a “Mansion baby.”
The way my mom and Hef met was she’d just moved to L.A. from a small town — she was 19, a Bible schoolteacher and a virgin. She was at dinner with her girlfriends, and a guy invited her to a party. My mom didn’t even know who Hugh Hefner was. So she goes to the Playboy Mansion, meets Hef, he gives her a tour of the mansion. And then that night he approached her and said he’d looked through the whole party, and she was the girl he wanted to spend the night with. And I guess she did. They danced to a song called “Baby Blue Panties,” so that became her nickname — Baby Blue. Hef gave her a diamond necklace that I have now. She was 19 when she got it, so she gave it to me for my 19th birthday.
The Playboy Mansion was more like a family kind of place for me. It wasn’t wild or crazy like everyone might think. You have family dinners and movies and swim in the pool — no big deal. I knew I was in a pretty magical place [when I was little], but it was kind of normal for me. I’ve seen a lot of celebrities there. I went on my first date with a celebrity I met up there, but I’d like to keep his identity anonymous. Let’s just say he left my dad a 15-minute voicemail asking permission to take me out, and I ended up going behind my dad’s back to go on the date anyway. There are other Playmates and people who work for the magazine that I still consider more aunts and uncles than people in my own family. I go back there all the time. I was just there, actually.
Hef has always had his girlfriends. He probably went through a bunch while I was spending time there as a kid. I think at one time he had seven girlfriends. The ones I clearly remember being around were Bridget and Kendra — they were really nice girls, but it was a totally weird situation. I think Hef is one of a kind, and good for him, but it was hard for my mom. He wasn’t monogamous with her, obviously, and over time that probably weighed on her a lot. Eventually, another girl kinda stepped in, and I guess she got replaced in a way.
[But] she actually met my dad at the Mansion. My dad was married to this soap opera star, and they’d double date with my mom and Hef. My parents were really good friends before they got together. I have old pictures of the four of them. So they went out alone one night, then they dated for a year and a half, and got married. They had their reception at the Mansion. My dad has managed a lot of Playmates. He manages Hef’s wife now. He also managed Pamela Anderson, so I’ve met her.
When I was 16 or 17, I wanted big boobs, was bleached blonde — I was totally different from how I am now. I was considering becoming a Playmate pretty intensely. I got over it, and now I’m glad I never did that. I think it’s great and very empowering in some ways, but it’s not for me. It can be an awesome thing, but there’s another side to it that can be ugly. I think maybe if it had been easier for my mom, I might have done it. But I saw what it kind of did to her psyche, which is a pretty good reason I’ve lived my life differently.
I just think my mom is such a beautiful, talented woman, but in her era of Playmates they totally put themselves out there. I just think my mom feels exposed in a way? I don’t know. Whenever anyone talks to me about my mom at the Mansion, they have only the nicest, sweetest things to say. Most would tell me she was the one who truly loved Hef unconditionally. It hasn’t been easy for her. She’s stunningly gorgeous and incredibly talented — a musician, actress and artist — but I think Hef wanted a girlfriend who was home and not working, so she’s also resentful about that. Maybe for other Playmates it’s totally different, but I just don’t think it was a happy ending for her.
I moved to a small town when I was in seventh grade, after my parents divorced, and I had been so sheltered and spoiled in L.A. Suddenly I was going to public school, and once people found out my mom was a Playmate, kids at school told me my mom was a slut or a glorified prostitute. And of course the girls started calling me a slut and a whore. So I got bullied a lot in this small town, and I got into some pretty hardcore drugs because I felt so rejected for being different. I was getting slut-bashed for no reason. So eventually, when you’re labeled something for long enough, you kinda become it.
Eventually I went to this little-rich-kid rehab — it was crazy. All they wanted to do was get me off drugs with other drugs. Pills. And no hiking or yoga or anything, which would have helped. I’m not sober now — I still like hard cider, gluten-free beer; I still smoke weed every day. But I’ve been off stimulants for two years. I have no regrets. It’s been really hard, but I can slowly start seeing little things happening in my life that are definitely worth it. I’m kinda surprised I survived it, but I’m glad I did. I’m at a point where I know that Adderall doesn’t make me do things better. I wasn’t thinking in my own mind.
You’d never guess in a million years from my comedy that I’ve ever set foot inside the Mansion. I just don’t see the humor in it. I leave my family out of my comedy because it’s not about them. I started my comedy so strung out on drugs, and now I’m coming from a different perspective. I wrote a joke recently that goes: “So I’ve been coherent lately. Even when I’m having sex. Which is crazy because usually my favorite sexual position is blacked out.”
Photo Credit: Gallery Stock