Holly Madison Reveals 'Truth' About Girls Next Door, Slams EP's 'Completely Untrue' Claims

In a fan Q&A, Madison calls out Hef’s “gross” behavior and explains why she and Bridget turned down a reunion pitch.

The show has been off the air for 11 years now, but interest in “The Girls Next Door” clearly never goes away.

Following an explosive, recent podcast interview all about her time at the Playboy mansion and an episode of Andy Cohen’s “For Real: The Story of Reality TV” all about the show, Holly Madison spilled even more in a fan Q&A on her YouTube channel Wednesday.

In the video, Madison claimed “For Real” producers did reach out to her and Bridget Marquardt to get their input, but they both said no. Kendra Wilkinson and executive producer Kevin Burns did all the heavy lifting — and Madison had plenty to say about one of Ken’s claims.

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“Bridget and I were both asked to participate in that, we both said no. I thought it didn’t sound like anything I’d be interested in,” Madison explained. “When it comes to my story about that time in my life, I’m really particular about who I will talk to and who I will do interviews with about it because I’m so over just the Playboy version of stories and having myself edited to fit that. I didn’t trust it.”

On the episode, Burns claimed Bridget “would have a stopwatch and she would track how many screen minutes Kendra would get.” Madison, however, said that was not the case.

“Completely untrue and I’m kind of grossed out he even said that. First of all, why he would accuse Bridget of that and bring her into it, I have no idea,” said Holly, who called Bridget “the sweetest, most unproblematic person” who “never did anything to him.”

“This guy was a very weird person. I used to really like him, I thought he was charming, I thought he was fun to talk to, but over the years I realized what a manipulator he was and how he tried to play the three of us against each other, even past Girls Next Door because he produced our spinoffs too,” she continued. “He would try and play us off each other and make us jealous of each other to get us to do things he wanted for the show.”

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While Madison said she was “excited about the opportunity” when the show came along, she was also “super nervous about it” and was not, “in any way, thirsty for camera time.” In fact, she said, she used to hide out in Hef’s room in the earlier seasons, because nobody would dare disturb him. “I wouldn’t say I enjoyed doing the show until Season 3,” she added.

“I never sat there with a stop watch, so I could be wrong, but I don’t feel like it ever favored time with one or the other,” she added. “I think it’s really gross that he said that and I think he should be ashamed of himself. I know he’s bitter at me and mad at me for writing the book, but for him to bring up Bridget and say she did something she didn’t do to make her look petty, is 100% and I think it’s messed up.”

Madison also claimed both she and Bridget had been approached for a “Girls Next Door” reunion, but again, they shot it down.

“They asked last year and I know, because I still talk to Bridget, we both turned it down because we thought, ‘No, why?'” she explained. “It’s just not interesting to me to do a reunion. I might do a twist on a reboot … but not just a straight up reunion. That just does nothing to me.”

A lot of the fan questions she got were about whether she was happy during her time at the Playboy Mansion and it’s clear she still has conflicted feelings about that era of her life.

“I know I’ve talked a lot about things at the mansion not being so great, but I was there for 7 years total and for the first 3.5 years, things were really, really miserable,” she said. “If cameras would have been around the first year I lived there, it would have been crazy. It would have been like a dark, depressing documentary.”

“It was a great opportunity and it turned a lot of the negativity of the situation into a positive situation in a lot of ways,” she said of the show itself. “That was a happy time in my life, not 100% happy … I wasn’t totally happy with the personal life relationship, but it was way better than it had been in the past.”

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Speaking a bit about the production of the show, Madison said the three main “Girls” were “treated like children” and pressured into signing contracts before they could have lawyers or managers look at them. “We just didn’t have any say or couldn’t negotiate those at all,” she said, adding that they don’t get any residuals from the show now.

“Nobody was looking out for us as far as residuals and of course that was never built into our deals. Just the way we were treated and how we weren’t allowed to have lawyers or agents look at our contracts, that would never fly today,” she said. She also said that their “culty” relationship with Hef, as well as them not being warned there would be nudity on the show leaves her feeling like “the whole thing is gross to me” now.

While nobody is really under the impression that reality shows are 100% real, Madison did confirm producers fed — or tried to feed — her lines. She said a lot of the narrative producers wanted to push was her desire to marry Hef, something she didn’t necessarily love.

“I kind of felt bored doing that. I felt like the show could go deeper or in other directions and they wanted the same thing over and over and over,” she said, before recalling an argument with one producer who wanted her to express jealousy over some of the other women either in the mansion or auditioning to be Playmates.

“I don’t want to say it because I don’t feel that way,” she recalled telling them. “I think it was something where they were trying to make me look jealous of someone else, another girl or something and I don’t care, I don’t feel that way. They’re like, ‘Yes holly, yes you do, you do feel that way.’ Who are you to try and brainwash me, gaslight me and say I do feel that when I don’t?”

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Holly also claimed Hef “encouraged” tension between the women as well. “Even before the show was there,” she said, “he would very much create double standards and different rules for the girls and it was deigned so he could have a big ego and he could feel fought over … it was really gross, in my opinion.”

The show came to an end in 2010 and spawned four different spinoffs; “Kendra,” “Kendra on Top,” “Holly’s World” and “Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches.” Looking back, Holly said she was “a little sad” when the series concluded, but she was also at a point in her relationship with Hef where she wanted out.

“At that point in my relationship with Hef, things had gotten so bad, he became over the top verbally abusive overnight and I just was panicking,” she recalled, saying she came to a realization when both Kendra and Bridget left. “Where you are the only one and you’re dealing with that other one person one on one, you start to see their true character. I panicked, I was like I don’t care what I’m giving up, I have to get out of here. I was a little sad the fun times were leaving, but not to the point I stopped to rethink my decision.”

Overall, Holly said the show was an “amazing opportunity” and gave her a lot of much-needed confidence — enough of it to make her realize it was time to leave.

“I can look back and say, ‘What the hell were you guys doing?'” she concluded. “We were treated in such a gross way that wouldn’t be allowed today.”

Hefner died at the age of 91 in 2019, but did speak out against a number of Madison’s claims in her tell-all book in 2015. “Over the course of my life I’ve had more than my fair share of romantic relationships with wonderful women,” he told Us Magazine at the time. “Many moved on to live happy, healthy, and productive lives, and I’m pleased to say remain dear friends today. Sadly, there are a few who have chosen to rewrite history in an attempt to stay in the spotlight. I guess, as the old saying goes: You can’t win ’em all!”

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