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Former Playboy “Bunny mother” PJ Masten claimed she’s received death threats since coming forward with her allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct.The 71-year-old is one of nearly 30 women who spoke out on A&E’s 10-part docuseries “Secrets of Playboy,” which explores the brand’s complicated legacy and its founder, Hugh Hefner, who died in 2017 at age 91. It features new interviews with numerous members of the magazine publisher’s staff and inner circle, as well as ex-girlfriends and Playmates.Recently, Masten claimed to the Los Angeles Times that her Facebook inbox has been flooded with venomous messages from former Bunnies who disagree with the allegations made in the docuseries.In a statement sent to Fox News Digital on Wednesday, Masten said she’s standing by her claims and has zero regrets about going public with them.HUGH HEFNER ACCUSATIONS: CAN PLAYBOY WITHSTAND THE BACKLASH? BRAND EXPERTS WEIGH IN
PJ Masten told Fox News Digital she’s standing by her claims.
(A&E)”Speaking my truth about Hugh Hefner and his executives has brought an onslaught of vicious verbal attacks against me,” said Masten. “Shame on the former Bunnies who engage in a mob mentality to silence me. I won’t be silenced by anyone, including the women who want to preserve Hefner’s legacy for their own self interests.”Masten worked for Playboy from 1972 until 1982. She not only accused “Soul Train” creator Don Cornelius of sexually assaulting two Playboy Bunnies, but she also claimed that Playboy Bunnies were subjected to “humiliating” monthly weigh-ins while working at the coveted clubs.She also insisted that Hefner marketed the Bunnies as “easy prey” for men seeking sexual dominance over nonconsenting women. Part of her role, she alleged, was to help “clean up” any scandals involving the Bunnies and VIP guests.The Los Angeles Times noted that in 2014, Masten alleged she was once drugged and raped by Bill Cosby. Numerous women have come forward with similar claims against the fallen comic.CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
PJ Masten worked for Playboy from 1972 until 1982.
(A&E)Since the docuseries premiered this year, Masten claimed she’s received numerous hateful messages, such as “You’re a piece of s—. You’re a liar. You’re a f— this and f— that.””It’s all from Bunnies,” Masten told the outlet. “These are 85-year-old women running around with their bunny ears on, and I’m bursting their bubble. Being a bunny was the best experience of my life. It was a great sorority of sisters. But the filth and language they’re attacking me with? I’m frightened of these vicious women.”Cornelius’ son, Tony Cornelius, as well as a spokesperson for The Don Cornelius Foundation, didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. However, the TV producer told People magazine that Masten’s account is an “unbelievable story without real proof” and “salacious.”The outlet noted that Cornelius was never investigated for sexual assault against the Bunnies though he was convicted on unrelated domestic violence charges in 2008. He passed away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Feb. 1, 2012, at age 75. His son shared that the patriarch experienced seizures for 15 years and suffered from “extreme pain.”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“Secrets of Playboy” made a shocking claim against ‘Soul Train’ creator Don Cornelius.
(Soul Train via Getty Images)Additionally, a disclaimer appeared during the doc, reminding viewers that “the vast majority of the allegations” made in the series “have not been the subject of criminal investigations or charges, and they do not constitute proof of guilt.”In the doc, Masten said she didn’t come forward with her claim sooner because she didn’t think anyone would have believed her.”I blame myself a lot,” she said. “I have such guilt about not coming forward, but I knew that the establishment wouldn’t allow me to come forward. And who’s going to believe me? Nobody’s going to believe me.”In response to the docuseries, a spokesperson for Playboy issued a statement to Fox News Digital.PLAYBOY BUNNY ADRIENNE POLLACK’S 1973 DEATH STILL RAISES QUESTIONS, SISTER SAYS: ‘IT NEVER MADE SENSE TO US’
Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017 at age 91.
(Dan Tuffs/Getty Images)”Today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy,” the statement began. “We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences. As a brand with sex positivity at its core, we believe safety, security, and accountability are paramount.””The most important thing we can do right now is actively listen and learn from their experiences,” it continued. “We will never be afraid to confront the parts of our legacy as a company that do not reflect our values today.””As an organization with a more than 80% female workforce, we are committed to our ongoing evolution as a company and to driving positive change for our communities,” the statement concluded.Hefner’s son Cooper also took to Twitter to defend his late father.’SECRETS OF PLAYBOY’ DIRECTOR EXPLAINS WHY SHE FILMED DOCUMENTARY NOW: ‘THESE WOMEN NEED TO BE HEARD’
Cooper Hefner and Hugh Hefner pose at Playboy’s 60th Anniversary special event on Jan. 16, 2014, in Los Angeles, California.
(Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy)”Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar,” the 30-year-old tweeted. “However unconventional, he was sincere in his approach and lived honestly. He was generous in nature and cared deeply for people. These salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge.” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Former ‘Bunny mother’ PJ Masten claims she’s received death threats since speaking out on ‘Secrets of Playboy’
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