In March of 2016, Hugh Hefner spoke to PEOPLE in what would become his last interview ever, RadarOnline.com has learned. In his talk with the outlet, he opened up about his love life, his ambitions and his family dynamic once the Playboy brand began to grow. He also talked about the process of aging, and what it felt like to look back at his legacy, decades later. The mogul, who died this past Wednesday from natural causes in his famous Playboy Mansion, was known for wearing a silk red robe while surrounded by sexy bunnies.
“It was comfortable and then I knew I was getting away with something,” he said of his iconic look. “It was good for the image and good for a lazy guy. It became a uniform. I probably own 50.”
While the success of his brand got him a ritzy robe life and a 50-million-dollar fortune, it also came with a difficult change of lifestyle. “I was an absent dad,” Hefner admitted of his early years with wife Millie Williams and kids Christie, 64, and David, 61. “I really had two families. The dream was the magazine. I worked through the night all the time.”
After his divorce from his first wife – when Playboy had truly kicked off – Hef went on to marry playmate Kimberly Conrad, 55, with whom he had kids Marston, 27, and Cooper, 26. “I was more into the marriage the second time,” he said. “It was good. I was ready to be a dad again… having two boys was a parallel of my own childhood, my brother and I.”
After that marriage failed, Hef became famous for his bachelor lifestyle. In his golden years, he often paraded around elite Hollywood bashes with his seven much-younger girlfriends. “It was pretty nice,” he admitted to PEOPLE. “I reinvented myself.”
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Finally, after decades of fooling around with bombshells, Hefner married Crystal Harris in 2013. “I didn’t give the marriage a lot of thought,” he said. “I wasn’t really planning on getting married. She indicated that she wanted. And I don’t think either one of us has ever regretted it. We’re very happy together. I’m not sure how, but something clicked there very quickly. Crystal is one in a million. I feel very lucky to have her in my life in this way.”
As readers know, Harris, 31, was left out of the mogul’s will, and will not receive a penny of his enormous fortune. An insider even told RadarOnline.com that Hef’s decision to stay with her had nothing to do with love, he just “didn’t want to end up alone and he was tired of switching girls.”
Hefner – who as RadarOnline.com readers know suffered a variety of health issues in his last years of life – claimed he didn’t mind getting old after having lived such an extraordinary life.
“It’s nice to look back on very sweet moments,” he said. “I just think I’m very very blessed.”
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