AceShowbiz - While some former Playboy models are speaking out against Hugh Hefner, the late magazine publisher found support in Brande Roderick. The former Playmate weighed in on Holly Madison's cult allegations on "Secrets of Playboy" docuseries.
"For me, I have a real fond love for Hef, he was a wonderful person," Brande revealed to Ashleigh Banfield during her Friday, January 21, appearance on "Banfield NewsNation" show. "I learned about art, I learned about music, you know, big band and jazz, old classic films."
Further gushing over Hugh, the 47-year-old went on to say that she "learned grace from Hef." She added, "That's one thing that I learned and got to see firsthand is the way that this major iconic man, who's super famous, would react with everybody. … He was just so graceful, which is something you don't see a lot of times from celebrities in Hollywood."
The 2001 Playmate of the Year continued, "Well, you're talking to someone who was there in the '70s. For me, it was not like that whatsoever. In fact, there was one night at one party where security came to Hef and said, 'There's somebody doing cocaine in the bathroom.' He had them kicked out and never allowed at the mansion again. He was very much against drugs."
"How about the girls there preying on these rich men?" the "Baywatch" alum further questioned. "I mean, come on, that's ridiculous. … They were all there at their free will: No one was holding a gun to their head."
Brande also criticized her fellow Playmates who only started speaking out after Hugh died in September 2017 at the age of 91. "I feel so sad that I even have to defend him because he's such an amazing person who has done so much for so many people," she said. "And the fact that some women are coming out because maybe they have a book coming out, maybe they want 15 more minutes of fame, maybe they're out of it, whatever, and to do it now, after he's dead, when he cannot defend himself, to me is disgusting."
"Why not go on the other documentaries that have been made while he was alive and say these things about him? … He's not those things," she continued.
Brande's comments arrived after A&E released a trailer for the docuseries earlier this month. In the clip, the participants detailed allegations about a "cult-like" atmosphere at the infamous Playboy mansion and what its parties were actually like. "We were all kind of gaslit and expected to think of Hef as, like, this really good guy," Holly said in the video.
The "Vegas Diaries" author added. "You started to feel like, 'Oh, he's not what they say in the media - he's just a nice man.'… You had a 9 o'clock curfew, you were encouraged to not have friends over. You weren't really allowed to leave unless it was, like, a family holiday. I kept my waitressing job one day a week because I just wanted something easy to go back to, should things not work out. He said it made him jealous, and he would appreciate it if I quit my job."
In response to the claims, Playboy issued a statement which read, "Today's Playboy is not Hugh Hefner's Playboy." The company's statement on Thursday, January 20 continued, "We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences. … We will never be afraid to confront the parts of our legacy as a company that do not reflect our values today. We are committed to our ongoing evolution as a company and to driving positive change for our communities."