- A former employee of Hugh Hefner’s said the drug use at the Playboy mansion was a “necessary evil.”
- Hefner’s ex-assistant said the drug of choice was Quaaludes, which they called “leg spreaders.”
- An ex-girlfriend of Hefner who lived at the mansion agreed, saying Quaaludes were “used for sex.”
A former employee of Hugh Hefner’s said rampant drug use at the Playboy Mansion was a “necessary evil.”
Lisa Loving Barrett worked as Hefner’s assistant at the Los Angeles mansion from 1977 to 1989. In a new clip from the upcoming A&E docuseries “Secrets of Playboy,” Barrett said people at the mansion referred to Quaaludes — the brand name for a prescription sedative that became a popular recreational drug during the 1970s and ’80s — as “leg spreaders,” due to the drug’s ability to make some users feel relaxed, and others sleepy and sedated.
“That is what the whole point of them was. They were a necessary evil, if you will, to the partying,” Barrett said.
The ex-Playboy staffer revealed in the clip that she, as well as other employees and Hefner, had prescriptions in their names for Quaaludes.
“That enabled certainly four, and sometimes five, different prescriptions for the same medication, to feed the [Playboy] machine,” Barrett said in the interview.
Former Playmate (and Hefner’s ex-girlfriend) Sondra Theodore agreed that Quaaludes were a big part of life at the mansion.
“Hef pretended he wasn’t involved in any hard drug use at the mansion, but that was just a lie,” Theodore said in the same clip. “Quaaludes, down the line, were used for sex.”
According to Theodore, the heightened sensory experience that Quaaludes gave users made them an appealing drug to take before sex. But if users took more than a half a pill, she said, they could pass out.
“They were such a seduction, and the men knew this, that they could get girls to do just about anything they wanted if they gave them a Quaalude,” Theodore said.
In another clip from the upcoming series, former reality star Holly Madison, who dated Hefner for seven years, revealed that Hefner once “flipped out” on her after she got a short haircut, and called her “old, hard, and cheap.”
“Secrets of Playboy” premieres January 24 on A&E.