Holly MadisonAnd Bridget MarquardtAre the stars of the new rewatch series revisiting their roots? Girls Next Door for their “Girls Next Level” podcast.
“The first three were kind of traumatic. I have to admit that I hated watching my own body. I looked at myself, and I thought, ‘She’s a f—king zombie,’” Madison began on the Monday, August 22, premiere episode of the podcast. “And I know what made me a zombie, but not everybody else does. … Bridget and I lived there for, like, three and a half years before the cameras even started rolling. There was much more. So when I see me in this episode, it is clear to me what conditioned my behavior. And I feel like you guys need to know that before we jump in.”
Marquardt admitted that Marquardt was first exposed to PlayboyWhen she was just 4 years old.
“I think my journey started when I was, like, 4,” she said. “My dad had the magazine subscription, so the magazines were laying around. And even though, like, I kind of knew that they were my dad’s magazines — and not really for me to look at — I would sneak peeks at them and stuff. I thought the girls in those magazines were beautiful. Like, I didn’t see it as nudity or sexual or anything like that. I just thought, ‘They’re so pretty. And I want to be like that someday.’”
When asked how much she knew about Hugh Hefner before testing for Playboy, Marquardt said she “knew nothing” about him or his lifestyle.
“All I knew [were]These pictorials were my favorite and I wanted to make them. I skipped those ‘Hanging with Hef’ pages. Like, I never even looked at that stuff,” she said. “I just knew nothing. And I even remember making a joke one time somebody saying, “What are you going to do when you see Hef?’ And I said, ‘Oh, I don’t even think I would recognize him.’ And they were like, ‘What? That’s not possible. Of course, you would recognize him.’ And now I look back and think, ‘What? That’s not possible.’”
Marquardt recalled her first recall Playboy audition, admitting that she was “in shock” when she was asked to take her top off before officially booking the gig.
“[The photographer’s like], ‘You guys don’t have to take your top off. It doesn’t matter to me whether you do or not. But I am going to ask you, and you need to know whether you’re going to do that before you go in. I can’t sit there and help you make your mind up once you’re in there. So decide now if you’re gonna do it,’” she explained. “I went in that room and still didn’t know what I was gonna do. … I just took a big deep breath, and I took it off and threw it on the bed and he made me feel so comfortable and so beautiful. … I won’t say it was 100 percent comfortable. I felt a little exposed, but it was not uncomfortable. But I felt really good about it.”
Madison had a similar story. She was photographed in a bikini and then froze when asked to take off her top for a photo shoot.
“I kind of felt like I had to do it or they would never consider me,” the Holly’s WorldAn alum said. “So [I said], ‘If I take the pictures, can you make a note that you guys don’t use the pictures unless I’m picked for Playmate?’ And [the photographer] looked at me like I was the biggest weirdo, like, that probably disqualified me right then and there.”
Madison moved into the mansion on August 2001. Marquardt lived there full-time until mid-2002. E!’s Girls Next DoorIn 2005, debuted and ran for five seasons together with Madison, Marquardt. Kendra Wilkinson. The sixth And final season featured Hefner’s future wife Crystal Hefner (née Harris) and twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon. (Hef passed away in 2017 at the young age of 91.
Madison and Marquardt were previously interviewed about their experiences with Hefner via A&E’s Playboy Secrets documentary. Upon its release, hundreds of former Playboy employees, models and Playmates signed a letter calling the accusations “unfounded.”
“We sign our names to support Hugh M. Hefner. From all we know of Hef, he was a person of upstanding character, exceptional kindness and dedication to free thought,” the letter read. “He demonstrated a commitment to living an honest life beyond everything else. Our time within Hugh Hefner’s Playboy and the organization’s subsidiaries remains a period all of us are fond of.”
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