When Hugh Hefner died in 2017 at the age of 91, he had spent the better part of his life fashioning himself as the ultimate Playboy (with a capital P)—a smoking robe-clad gent who was always surrounded by a bevy of scantily clad women who were just a fraction of his age. And, if Secrets of Playboy, a rather salacious 10-part docuseries currently airing on A&E, is to be believed, the Playboy founder also engaged in sexual acts with a dog on at least one occasion.
As The Wrap reports, the docuseries’ creator and showrunner Alexandra Dean doesn’t even attempt to hide that Secrets of Playboy isn’t coming from a place of fond remembrance for the eccentric publisher. “Right from the opening credits, you can tell where this is headed,” Benjamin Svetkey writes, “with snippets of Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski partying at the mansion and sound bites of disgruntled ex-Playmates claiming that ‘Hef pulled one over on the whole world.’”
As Svetkey writes:
“[T]he single most revealing moment so far in the series is a few seconds of old footage in which the late Playboy editor and publisher is caught on camera experiencing a flash of self-awareness so blinding in its clarity it practically sets off a lens flare. ‘My life itself is just an invention,’ he says, chuckling at his own candor. ‘It’s all just a very clever marketing ploy. And it just happened to work out very well for me.’”
But Dean might argue otherwise. While it’s hard to separate the man from the myth, among the many accusations casually lobbed at Hefner in the series—usually just via a single (and oftentimes disgruntled) interview subject—is that Hef engaged in sex with a dog on at least one occasion and may have coerced women, including legendary porn actress Linda Lovelace, into doing likewise. Elsewhere in the series, it’s suggested that Bobbie Arnstein—Hefner’s one-time assistant who reportedly died by suicide in 1975—was actually killed at the behest of the publisher/raconteur to keep her quiet amidst rumors of a federal drug probe into what was going on at the Playboy Mansion.
Whether anything presented in the documentary is true or not is hard to say, as most of the claims made are via hearsay comments with no real evidence to back them up or even any real way to fact-check what is being said. According to The Wrap, “Even Dean sometimes seems unconvinced by her assertions, issuing a disclaimer in the closing credits stating that ‘the vast majority of allegations have not been the subject of criminal investigations or charges and they do not constitute proof of guilt.’”
(Via The Wrap)