Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

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Hugh Hefner’s ex Holly Madison defends decision not to speak after Playboy founder’s death

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At the time of his death in 2017, all that remained between Hugh Hefner and former No. 1 girlfriend Holly Madison were reruns of their defunct reality show, “The Girls Next Door.”

Two years earlier, Madison had exposed her time in the Playboy Mansion, saying it was “ridiculous” in her scathing book, “Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny.” When her famous ex-boyfriend died, she chose not to address his passing publicly.

“When he passed away, everybody expected me to have some big reaction or post about it on social media, and it just felt weird. I didn’t have any emotional attachment to him anymore in any way,” she told People magazine. “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?”

FORMER PLAYBOY MODEL HOLLY MADISON STRUGGLED WITH ‘BODY DYSMORPHIA’ IN HUGH HEFNER’S MANSION

Madison moved into the Playboy Mansion in 2001, quickly garnering the attention of Hefner. They dated until 2008, although Madison remained a part of their reality show that followed the lives of the playmates and Hefner.

“Before he passed away, there had been maybe five or six years where I just had not spoken to him at all. He had become a completely different character in my mind,” she said of the magazine mogul.

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When Hefner died at 91, Madison says she definitely did not feel “relief.”

“I felt like I had taken myself kind of out of that universe pretty solidly. But it was a really odd time,” she said. “For me, after leaving that relationship, I kind of felt like he had always interacted with me in such a fake way. Because every interaction he had with me was all about control or this fantasy he had of a relationship. It almost felt like playing house in a way.”

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To this day, Madison says she’s still subjected to criticism for speaking out against Hefner and his empire.

“There’s still people who want to attack me for telling my truth, even if it has nothing to do with them. Just because when you’re coming from the mansion, it’s kind of this high-stakes environment where people attach who they are to this title of being a Playmate or being associated with Playboy, so they don’t ever want to hear a bad word about it. … And it just gets really catty even now with some people, but those people aren’t in my life, so it’s OK.”

Today, Madison is a mother to two children with ex-husband Pasquale Rotella. She currently co-hosts the podcast “Girl’s Next Level” with former playmate Bridget Marquardt.

A representative for Madison did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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