The bunnies are going rabid.
A pack of former Playboy bunnies are said to be foaming at the mouth with curses and epithets for veteran Playboy Club waitress-turned-Hugh Hefner detractor PJ Masten, who accused the late smut magazine mogul of sexual abuse and misconduct in the new A&E documentary “Secrets of Playboy,” which premiered in January.
“You’re a piece of s- -t. You’re a liar. You’re a f – -king this and f- – king that,” said Masten, 71, to the LA Times, reciting venomous Facebook messages she’s allegedly received from ex-Playboy pinups who disagree with the damning claims she and other victims level against Hefner in the shocking 10-part series.
“It’s all from bunnies,” she added of the hate mail from the disgruntled legion of women who once proudly donned the signature rabbit-ear headband and rib-crushing, bushy-tailed corset to sling cocktails at Hefner’s popular, albeit exclusive gentlemen’s lounges throughout the 1960s and ’70s.
In 2017, Hefner died at age 91 of cardiac arrest and respiratory failure after contracting septicemia — a blood infection — and drug-resistant E. coli, according to People. But the love for his sex empire apparently lives on through his devout ex-employees.
Hugh Hefner whistleblower PJ Masten claims former Playboy bunnies are harassing her with threatening messages. Ted West“These are 85-year-old women running around with their bunny ears on, and I’m bursting their bubble,” said Masten, who worked as a bunny and a bunny mother — a woman who oversaw the daily operations of the bunnies and the clubs.
“Being a bunny was the best experience of my life. It was a great sorority of sisters,” she continued. “But the filth and language they’re attacking me with? I’m frightened of these vicious women.”
In the docuseries, Masten fingered Hefner for marketing his bunnies as “easy prey” for lecherous men seeking sexual dominance over nonconsenting women.
Masten also accused Bill Cosby of drugging and raping her during her tenure as a Playboy employee. Courtesy of PJ Masten“Hefner created an illusion, and that [Playboy Bunny] costume was very powerful,” she said in the production. “The illusion was sex nymph. Sexual nymph sells.”
Masten — who, too, accused fallen comedian and decadeslong Playboy affiliate Bill Cosby, 84, of drugging and raping her in 1979 — also claimed to have helmed Hef’s secret Playboy “cleanup crew.”
And as a leader in that hush-hush arm of his seemingly untouchable organization, she and other employees were charged with “cleaning up” any scandalous messes involving the bunnies and the ruthless VIP guests of his Playboy Clubs and the legendary Playboy Mansion.
The crew’s cardinal rule: Distressed bunnies could never call the cops or go to the hospital.
Masten accused “Soul Train” host Don Cornelius of sodomizing two Playboy bunnies in his house for three days. Michael Ochs ArchivesOne of most the harrowing clean-up jobs Masten recalled was an incident involving late “Soul Train” host Don Cornelius and two bunnies who went missing for several days.
“This story is the story of a massive cleanup that never hit the press,” recalled Masten in the doc. “These two young girls got in [Cornelius’] Rolls-Royce, went up to his house and we didn’t hear from them for three days. We couldn’t figure out where they were.”
She claims the women, two sisters in their early 20s that she endearingly nicknamed her “baby bunnies,” were locked up in separate rooms inside Cornelius’ house, bound and repeatedly sodomized.
Don Cornelius’ son deems Masten’s claims to be “salaciousness.”Paul Natkin“There were wooden objects that they were sodomized with and [one sister] could hear [the] other sister being brutalized. It was horrible, horrible,” said Masten.
According to her, the girls were eventually able to call the Playboy security team for help. But by the time Hefner’s task force arrived, the bunnies were “bloody, battered and drugged.”
And while Masten claims Hefner saw the security reports of the incident, the Playboy magnate chose to neither press formal charges against Cornelius nor revoke his access to the clubs or the mansion.
Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar. However unconventional, he was sincere in his approach and lived honestly. He was generous in nature and cared deeply for people. These salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge.— Cooper Hefner (@cooperhefner) January 23, 2022
Cornelius, a once-heralded television icon, died at 75 in 2012.
But his son Tony Cornelius, 62, recently told People that Masten’s allegation is an “unbelievable story without real proof,” and deemed the claims to be “salaciousness.”
Hefner’s son, Cooper Hefner, 30, too, defended his departed father’s legacy against the eye-popping allegations made by Masten, as well as Hefner’s ex-girlfriend Sondra Theodore, 65, and countless other ex-Playboy centerfolds and associates featured in the documentary.
“Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar,” Cooper tweeted in January, following the series’ debut. “However unconventional, he was sincere in his approach and lived honestly. He was generous in nature and cared deeply for people. These salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge.”
Playboy has released a statement in attempt to distance itself from Hefner’s allegedly abusive reign of terror. Dan TuffsA few of the “salacious stories” the surviving Hefner referred to include claims his father regularly drugged and raped women, blackmailed his would-be critics with secretly recorded sex tapes, and engaging in sexual acts with animals — including a puppy belonging to Theodore.
But while Hefner’s son fought to uphold his dad’s honor, Playboy — which underwent a rebrand under new management since the shuttering of its magazine in 2020 — released an official statement, distancing itself from Hefner ahead of the doc’s premiere.
“As a brand with sex positivity at its core, we believe safety, security and accountability are paramount, and anything less is inexcusable,” said the organization in a letter shared to Medium.
“As you know, the Hefner family is no longer associated with Playboy, and today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy.”