When I moved to California in 1999 my cousin Bonnie was pursuing her acting career and attending all of the wild parties at The Playboy Mansion. I was fascinated by her tales of the glitz and glamour, celebrities and over-the-top themed costumes. As intrigued as I was I never tried to tag along because I felt my hair was too short, my boobs were too small and frankly, at the time, I felt I was just “too punk rock” for that scene. I was content living vicariously through Bonnie.
When The Girls Next Door first aired it became my guilty pleasure. At the time I lived in a ground level apartment and we had a TV that projected onto a giant wall in our living room. There was a huge window that looked onto the street as well as one behind the couch that faced my neighbors. I would always make sure my blinds and curtains were closed so no one could see what I was watching.
When Holly came into the picture on The Girls Next Door I became an instant fan. I felt like I could really relate to her in some strange way. I was thrilled when Down The Rabbit Hole came out and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I actually listened to the audio version which is read by Holly herself. It was a fascinating look into what life was really like behind the mansion doors. It starts out with Holly describing attending her first Playboy party and the excitement she felt as the bus drove her up the long driveway. She described it exactly as my cousin did 15 years ago.
If you are a Holly Madison fan or just curious about the life of a former “girlfriend” I would highly recommend this book. Along with revealing the mystery behind the gates its a story of strength, courage and fight.
Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny
The shocking, never-before-told story of the bizarre world inside the legendary Playboy Mansion—and, finally, the secret truth about the man who holds the key—from one of the few people who truly knows: Hef’s former #1 girlfriend and star of The Girls Next Door
A spontaneous decision at age twenty-one transformed small-town Oregon girl Holly Sue Cullen into Holly Madison, Hugh Hefner’s #1 girlfriend. But like Alice’s journey into Wonderland, after Holly plunged down the rabbit hole, what seemed like a fairytale life inside the Playboy Mansion—including A-list celebrity parties and her own #1-rated television show for four years—quickly devolved into an oppressive routine of strict rules, manipulation, and battles with ambitious, backstabbing bunnies. Life inside the notorious Mansion wasn’t a dream at all—and quickly became her nightmare. After losing her identity, her sense of self-worth, and her hope for the future, Holly found herself sitting alone in a bathtub contemplating suicide.
But instead of ending her life, Holly chose to take charge of it.
In this shockingly candid and surprisingly moving memoir, this thoughtful and introspective woman opens up about life inside the Mansion, the drugs, the sex, the abuse, the infamous parties, and her real behind-the-scenes life with Bridget, Kendra, and, of course, Mr. Playboy himself.
With great courage, Holly shares the details of her subsequent troubled relationship, landing her own successful television series, and the hard work of healing, including her turn on Dancing with the Stars. A cautionary tale and a celebration of personal empowerment, Down the Rabbit Hole reminds us of the importance of fighting for our dreams—and finding the life we deserve.