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Authors: Izabella St. James

Bunny Tales

BOOK: Bunny Tales
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Table of Contents

 

Title Page

Dedication

Prologue

 

1: Made in Poland

 

2: Canada, Eh .

 

3: Legally Blonde .

 

4: Hanging with Hef .

 

5: The Crib.

 

6: The Blonde Boob Brigade .

 

7: The Fabulous Life

 

8: The Booty.

 

9: Hef. - A Portrait of the Playboy as an Old Man

 

10: Desperate Housemates.

 

11: In Da Clubs .

 

12: How to Make Love like a Rabbit .

 

13: Boys, Boys, Boys.

 

14: What Happens in the Grotto...

 

15: House Parties.

New Year’s Eve Party
Mardi Gras Party
Hef’s Birthday Party
Midsummer Night’s Dream Party
Halloween Party

 

16: Bunny 101.

 

17: Playmates at Play.

 

18: Fiftieth Anniversary of Playboy.

 

19: Bunny Trap.

 

20: Fear and Loathing in Holmby Hills

 

21: Post-Bunnydom.

 

Epilogue

Acknowledgements

Copyright Page

Some names have been changed to protect the innocent, to cover up for the guilty, and to give privacy to those who do not seek public scrutiny.

To Justin

Prologue

“ And the wild regrets, and the bloody sweats
,
None knew so well as I:
For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.”

—Oscar Wilde, The Ballad of Reading Gaol

 

 

T
here I was, in torn-up jeans and white cotton shirt, with frizzy hair and sun-kissed skin. I had spent all day at the beach watching a shoot for the popular television show
The O. C.
Now I was sitting at a chic restaurant looking forward to some sushi and sake, when I suddenly felt someone’s eyes burning into my flesh. I looked over and saw a good-looking man staring at me. He was smiling. I politely smiled back and turned away. Then it hit me.
Oh my God!
I knew him. The whole world knew him. He is one of the few elite actors who are members of the exclusive $20 million-a-movie club. There he was, famous star and still staring and still smiling at me. All of a sudden I became aware of my beach bum look and snuck off to the bathroom right past his table. I reapplied some lip gloss, as if that would make all the difference, and began walking back as nonchalantly as possible. He stopped me. He told me I was astounding—interesting choice of word, but nonetheless flattering. I tried to be witty, but I don’t know what I said. It’s all a blur.

I went back to my table and asked the waiter to hurry with that sake. It’s not like I had a crush on this man, the way we all tend to with certain celebrities; I had never really thought much about him. But there was something about him, the intensity of his eyes. I found him very attractive in person, more so than I ever imagined from his movies. My skin was tingling and I had butterflies in my stomach. He told me he would sit there and stare at me all night, and he certainly kept his promise. He called me the next day. He surprised me with his warmth, his spirituality, and his intelligence. We talked about everything. It was perfect.

And then it happened. He found out I had once lived at the Playboy Mansion. He was livid. I was guilty without having a chance to be proven innocent; he automatically convicted me of all of the indecencies anyone could have possibly committed. He questioned his own intuition because it led him to care about me. I told him that his intuition was just fine; his feelings were based on my character, my heart, my soul, and not based on the circumstances of my life or the adventures I may have experienced. I was still the same good person. He told me he had such hopes for us and had not felt this way about a woman in many years. It amazed me that he was willing to throw it away just because I had lived at the Playboy Mansion. But he was angry and couldn’t get past it. He was furious because he liked me, and apparently he felt I ruined our chance to be together. I could not be in his world because I was tainted by Playboy. Once people learned of our association, my past would suddenly become his reality, and he could not deal with that. He didn’t
want
to deal with that. I was devastated. For the first time I felt guilty, and I didn’t even know why. There was nothing I could say. It was the most suffocating, frustrating, belittling feeling to have to defend myself against accusations that were not valid, that were not only superficial but also inaccurate. My heart was broken.

I had been lucky enough not to be faced with other people’s prejudices or stereotypes, and their anger or hatered had never been directed at me. I suppose that gave me a false sense of security; I never anticipated what was to come, and when it came, it struck like lightning. This actor told me I had obviously made some compromises in my past. He told me I had to realize and admit that living at the Mansion was not good for me. Initially I tried to be logical. He simply had it all wrong, and it was up to me to enlighten him. I had only lived at the Playboy Mansion; I didn’t commit a crime! Bill Clinton, the leader of the free world, received a blow job from an intern in the Oval Office, and people got over it. Hugh Grant was caught with a prostitute, and people forgot. Winona Ryder got caught shoplifting; we moved on. Paris Hilton had a porno out, and a month later she was hosting a teen awards show. I didn’t do any of that! I simply dated and lived with Hugh Hefner. Is that really so bad? If I say that I moved into the Playboy Mansion—the ultimate playground for consenting adults—just for fun, then I may be viewed as an irresponsible, docile blonde. If I say that all the girls there had their own plans and were nobody’s fools, then we’ll be labeled gold-diggers who used Hef. It seemed like a lose-lose situation. We all make decisions and sometimes they are mistakes. Hopefully we do not make the same mistakes, but we try to learn from the old ones and become better people.

After a few days, my self-doubt and ambivalence about his feelings turned to anger. How dare he? How dare he attack me without knowing anything about the situation? The rage deep within me surfaced. I was not going to allow anyone to talk me into feelings I did not have. After the storm came the calm, long-awaited moment of clarity: my experience of living at the Playboy Mansion was not a compromise. It was me letting go of the steering wheel. It was me allowing myself to be the total opposite of who I really am, to explore life, freedom, and self. All of us at one point or another have imagined what it would be like to live a different life than the one we have. But how many of us actually get the chance to do something completely out of the ordinary in our lives? I did. Yes, I was scared, so very scared to let go of everything I knew, to risk my present and my future. I just opened myself up to the experience, good or bad, right or wrong. It was a conflict between the path I had planned and the path less traveled by, between the right and left side of the brain. I knew I was strong enough not to do anything I did not want to, so I surrendered to the experience.

I believe that to genuinely understand another human being, one must understand where he or she came from. Where I come from has had a tremendous impact on who I became and the decisions I made in my life. My roots are inextricably woven into the fabric of my life, even the most unlikely and unexpected parts. I knew I had to write this book. I could not let this happen again. When I told this movie star I was writing a memoir, he advised me not to do it. In his view, everyone would forever view me as a Playboy Bunny. Did I want that? When I told him it would be cathartic for me to write this, he was still thinking about the way it would impact
him
. I realized he was motivated not by my actions, but by how they would reflect on his own reputation. He said writing a book may jeopardize my chances with other celebrities in the future. I was disappointed; so lost was his own identity, so lost was his loyalty to his real feelings, that it never occurred to him that I would not want to be with someone—celebrity or not—who prejudges me. I knew he was a victim of his fame and a slave to his image, and there was nothing I could do about that. But I could answer the countless questions I was confronted with on a daily basis about life at the Playboy Mansion with Hef. I could finally set the record straight.

Did I really ruin my life? You be the judge.

1: Made in Poland

“Though the Poles were doomed to live in the battlegrounds of
Eastern Europe and to fight in many historic conflicts, they were as robust and zestful in the pursuit of pleasure and grandeur as they were valiant in warfare. And no invader has ever conquered the heart of Poland, that spirit which is the inheritance of sons and daughters, the private passion of families and the ancient, unbreakable tie to all those who came before....”

—James A. Michener

 

 

H
ow did I find myself at the Playboy Mansion? I can still envision that little girl, with pigtails and freckles on her nose, living in Poland and dreaming of America. Back then, I tried to imagine what it would be like to live in this magical place called Hollywood. But never would I have imagined that I would one day be dating the iconic and hedonistic Hugh Hefner and living in his famous Mansion. From living behind the chains of Communism to partying behind the velvet ropes of Hef ’s exclusive entourage, it has been a long road.

I was born in the beautiful city of Krakow located in southern Poland, an ancient royal city famous for its architectural beauty and cultural heritage. Krakow’s historic center houses the largest medieval square in Europe and the impressive Wawel Castle. A city on UNESCO’s World Natural and Cultural Heritage list, Krakow is a vibrant, charming, and historically significant center of central and eastern European culture. The entire country of Poland is beautiful—the golden sand of the Baltic Sea’s coastal beaches, the lakes of Mazury, the green wilderness of Bieszczady, the Tatra mountains, and the delightful charm of Poland’s historic cities. Poland is a uniquely fascinating country, with its scenic landscapes and the romantic tales of medieval knights and battles, kings and splendid castles, contrasted by the dark horrors and destruction of World War II, its determined stand against Communism, and today’s modern outlook and booming economy.

Immersed in its turbulent history, the passion and character of Poland is resilient, and the people are spirited, warm, and welcoming. The hospitality of Polish people is legendary; pleasing your guest is a high honor and requirement in Polish homes. The principle of “what’s ours is yours” is strictly followed. Poles are very family-oriented, and the family unit includes members of the extended family. As parents age, they often live with their children and grandchildren. Children are raised to honor and respect the elderly. Polish people have many beautiful traditions that are hundreds of years old; they are highly valued and maintained.

BOOK: Bunny Tales
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