Holly Madison doesn’t care what people think. In an interview with People, she explained why she didn’t feel the need to publicly acknowledge the death of Hugh Hefner in 2017, whom she dated from 2001-2008.
“When he passed away, everybody expected me to have some big reaction or post about it on social media, and it just felt weird,” she said. “I didn’t have any emotional attachment to him anymore in any way.”
Madison has spoken extensively about her traumatic relationship with Hefner. She first spoke out in her memoir Down the Rabbit Hole in 2015, in which she detailed years of emotional and sexual abuse.
“We thought of it as a chore that we had to do or else we’ll get kicked out of the house. Everybody just wanted to make it go by as quickly as possible,” she said, adding that Hefner “wouldn’t move” during sex because he was “a bump on the log in the middle of the bed.” She and the other women living in the house with Hefner during that time were also expected to perform group sex, which she described as “so embarrassing.”
“You’re literally sitting there naked having sex in front of a group of people who hate you and talk shit about you while you’re having sex—and you can hear it. It was just like hell.”
So, after all that, she was surprised anyone expected her to say anything when he died.
“I’d already come out talking about what a toxic relationship this was for me. Why am I supposed to post a memorial on my Instagram?”
Madison is also currently involved in the production of the show The Playboy Murders, which investigates the murders of women “involved in the Playboy lifestyle.”