ET's Chris Jacobs sat down with Hugh Hefner inside the library of the famed Playboy Mansion for an intimate fireside chat about his runaway bride Crystal Harris. What made her "skip" off the bunny property before her wedding to the publishing tycoon?
Hef sees the situation a lot more clearly "in hindsight," admitting that their vast age difference was probably a contributing factor, though he expects more truth to unravel as time goes on. He questions himself, "What was I really thinking?" When lawyers started getting involved to discuss a prenuptial agreement, "things started to get sour." By calling the wedding off, Hef wholeheartedly believes he "missed a bullet" over an inevitable split.
Taken aback by her sudden departure, Hef considered them to have a "very happy relationship" and he "wanted to give her continuity." Denying he was rushing Crystal down the aisle, Hef maintains that the "relationship not the marriage" was his priority. He believes in their two plus year courtship, his bride was "fascinated" by the Playboy lifestyle and "created the illusion that she was over the moon happy."
When Crystal abruptly left while Hef and some girls were enjoying their traditional Sunday movie night, she did not leave empty handed. Besides the sparkler on her finger, the security tapes show "she made a point to get both cars off the property." During their time together, Hef gave her a Bentley and another luxury vehicle.
The betrayed groom-to-be doesn’t plan to take the plunge again into marriage. "I think my natural state is single," he confided. "The only times I’ve been monogamous were the two times I was married"
All the while, he does admit that he was with girlfriend Anna Sophia Berglund while with Crystal. Had Crystal become his wife, he would have addressed the issue with her on whether he’d continue his relationship with Anna. As long as there is honesty about additional relationships, he is okay with his girlfriends seeing other guys. "The immorality of infidelity is the line," he defined.
"My life is an open book with illustrations, no mysteries, and widely published," he analogized. This is just another chapter to be shelved in the quaint, voluminous archives of the legendary Playboy empire.
To see the full story play out, watch "Hef's Runaway Bride" on Lifetime on Tuesday, July 19. Though adamantly denying claims this was a publicity stunt, Hef expects ratings to soar, labeling the debacle "a homerun." "The Girls Next Door: Season Six" will be released on DVD, also on July 19.