Hugh Hefner’s wife suggests Playboy tycoon slept with men: ‘He was very open’

Hugh Hefner in a red and black robe.

The wife of Hugh Hefner has suggested that the late magazine editor and Playboy tycoon may have had sexual relationships with men, describing him as “very open”.

Model Crystal Hefner, who was married to the businessman and Playboy Mansion owner from 2012 up until his death aged 91 in 2017, explained that her husband was a “total sex addict” – though she couldn’t be entirely sure about who he had slept with.

“He’s definitely had men in his bed before for the orgies they would have and sometimes film,” Crystal told The Messenger.

“But you know, I don’t know to what extent interacting with each other or just with other women in the bed.”

Despite his controversial reputation as a serial womaniser, Hefner became an early supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, urging for gay marriage to become legal in the September 2012 issue of Playboy magazine.

Back in 1955, Hefner published a short sci-fi story entitled The Crooked Man by writer Charles Beaumont, in which same-sex relations were illegal and heterosexuals were oppressed by homosexuals.

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After furious backlash, Hefner wrote a response in Playboy, which read: “If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society… then the reverse was wrong, too.”

Crystal and Hugh Hefner.
Hugh Hefner with wife Crystal. (Getty/Tommaso Boddi)

He was also a prominent voice speaking out against the handling of the AIDS crisis, once telling LGBTQ+ publication The Advocate that “the only thing ‘wrong’ with AIDS is the way our government responded to it” and that the US government were “culpable on many, many levels”.

“Hef, he was pretty open. He was an advocate. And he did change a lot of laws. So there’s good,” Crystal Hefner continued. 

“He was a very complex person, and he did a lot for some rights. He flew orphans over from Vietnam, he’s done a lot. And yeah, I think he was a very, very open person.

“He was a total sex addict. So I’m sure in all forms he would explore,” she added. “I don’t know firsthand, but yeah, he was a very open person. And he even said himself, ‘I’m an open book.’ I mean, that’s as far as I can talk on that, or know.”

In the 2008 biography Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream, writer Steven Watts claimed that the media mogul had once received oral sex from a man.

“Hefner’s thirst for sexual experience became so strong that he even had a one-time homosexual experience,” Watts wrote.

“One evening in downtown Chicago he was propositioned and, according to Sellers, he ‘thought, what the hell. Found it an interesting experience. As far as I know, the guy just gave him [oral sex].’”

Though Hugh Hefner was remembered as a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community following his death, accusations of abuse continue to overshadow his legacy.

In 2022 documentary series Secrets of Playboy, several of Hefner’s former employees and partners came forward to allege that Hugh Hefner and his associates engaged in serious sexual misconduct at the Playboy Mansion and elsewhere.

A the time, the now publicly owned PLBY group said in a statement: “Today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy. We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences.”