NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Former Playboy “Bunny mother” PJ Masten has claimed she has received death threats since coming forward with her sexual abuse and misconduct allegations.
The 71-year-old is one of nearly 30 women who have spoken on A&E’s 10-part docuseries ‘Secrets of Playboy,’ which explores the complicated legacy of the brand and its founder, Hugh Hefner. , who died in 2017 at the age of 91. new interviews with many members of the magazine’s editor’s team and entourage, as well as ex-girlfriends and playmates.
Recently, Masten claimed to the Los Angeles Times that his Facebook inbox had been inundated with venomous messages from former Bunnies who disagreed with the allegations made in the docuseries.
In a statement sent to Fox News Digital on Wednesday, Masten said she stands by her claims and has no regrets about making them public.
HUGH HEFNER ACCUSATIONS: CAN PLAYBOY RESIST THE RETURN? BRAND EXPERTS WEIGH
“Speaking my truth about Hugh Hefner and his executives brought a wave of vicious verbal attacks on me,” Masten said. “Shame on the old rabbits who engage in a mob mentality to silence me. No one will silence me, including women who want to preserve Hefner’s legacy for their own interests.”
Masten worked for Playboy from 1972 to 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 monthly weigh-ins. “humiliating” while working in the coveted clubs. .
She also insisted that Hefner marketed rabbits as “easy prey” for men seeking to sexually dominate non-consenting women. Part of her role, she said, was to help “clean up” any scandals involving the Bunnies and VIP guests.
The Los Angeles Times noted that in 2014, Masten alleged that she was once drugged and raped by Bill Cosby. Many women have made similar claims against fallen comics.
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
Since the docuseries premiered this year, Masten claimed to have received numerous hate messages, such as “You’re a piece of s—. You’re a liar. You’re af— this and f— that.”
“It’s all from Bunnies,” Masten told the outlet. “It’s 85-year-old women running around with their bunny ears, and I’m bursting their bubble. Being a bunny was the best experience of my life. It was a big sisterhood of sisters. But the dirt and the language they attack me with? I’m afraid of these vicious women.
Cornelius’ son, Tony Cornelius, and a spokesperson for the Don Cornelius Foundation did not 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 with no real proof” and “salacious”.
The outlet noted that Cornelius was never investigated for rabbit sexual assault, although he was convicted of unrelated domestic violence charges in 2008. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on February 1, 2012, at the age of 75. His son shared that the patriarch endured seizures for 15 years and suffered from “extreme pain”.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Additionally, a disclaimer appeared during the documentary, reminding viewers that “the vast majority of allegations ‘made in the series’ have not been investigated or criminally charged, and that ‘they do not constitute proof of guilt’.
In the document, Masten said she didn’t submit her request sooner because she didn’t think anyone would have believed her.
“I blame myself a lot,” she said. “I feel so guilty for not coming forward, but I knew 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 Playboy spokesperson released a statement to Fox News Digital.
THE DEATH OF PLAYBOY BUNNY ADRIENNE POLLACK IN 1973 STILL RAISES QUESTIONS, SISTER SAYS ‘IT NEVER MADE MEANING TO US’
“Today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy,” the statement began. “We trust and validate these women and their stories and strongly support those who have come forward to share their experiences. As a brand focused on sex positivity, we believe that safety, security and accountability are paramount. “
“The most important thing we can do right now is actively listen and learn from their experiences,” he continued. “We will never be afraid to confront the parts of our heritage as a company that do not reflect our values today.”
“As an organization with more than 80% women in its workforce, we are committed to continuing our evolution as a company and 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 SHOT DOCUMENTARY NOW: ‘THESE WOMEN NEED TO BE HEARD’
“Some may not approve of the life my father chose, but my father was not a liar,” said the 30-year-old. tweeted. “Although unconventional, he was sincere in his approach and lived honestly. He was generous in nature and cared deeply about people. These dirty stories are a case study where regret becomes revenge.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.