Former Bunny Says She Covered up 2 Alleged Rapes

  • A former Playboy Bunny says she was forced to cover up alleged rapes and abductions while working at the company.
  • PJ Masten worked as a Bunny and manager at the LA Playboy club for several years.
  • On Monday’s new episode of “Secrets of Playboy,” Masten said Playboy had a “clean-up crew” on call.

A former Playboy Bunny said she was forced to cover up the alleged rapes and abductions of two “baby” Playboy Bunnies.

PJ Masten worked at Playboy from 1972 to 1982, first as a Bunny in the Los Angeles club, and then as a “Bunny mother,” a manager at the clubs who was responsible for training and overseeing the more junior Bunnies under her care.

“They were sisters and I hired them on the spot because they were absolutely adorable,” Masten said of the two young Bunnies in an interview on a new episode of A&E’s “Secrets of Playboy” that aired Monday.

According to Masten, the newly-minted Bunnies (who she estimated to be around 20 and 21 years old at the time and did not name in the docuseries) were out dancing one night when they met “Soul Train” host Don Cornelius. (Per Masten, Cornelius was a “Playboy VIP gold member” and a regular at the LA club.) He then invited the young women to sit in his booth and have drinks with him and later invited them go back to his house for a party, she recalled.

“They didn’t have any fear at the time,” Masten recalled of the Bunnies’ reaction to Cornelius’ invitation. “Then these two young girls got in his Rolls-Royce and went up to his house. And we didn’t hear from them for three days.”

“These two young Bunnies were at Don Cornelius’ house and they were separated. One was locked in one room, and the other was in another room,” Masten continued, adding that the two sisters were “tied up and bound,” “sodomized” with “wooden objects,” and could hear one another being “brutalized” over the course of several days.

“It was horrible,” said Masten, who wasn’t present during the alleged assault and didn’t specify in “Secrets of Playboy” how she knew the details of the alleged assault.

Masten alleges that she was prevented from calling the police to report the incident

She also said that the “Playboy rules” prevented herself and other Playboy employees, with knowledge of the alleged incident, from calling the police after one of the abducted women was finally able to escape and make contact with another Bunny mother. Masten didn’t specify who at Playboy told her not to contact the authorities, or whether it was an actual formal policy at the company.

Instead, the head of security at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles went to retrieve the abducted Bunnies, who were “bloody, battered” and “drugged,” according to Masten.

Masten said she and the other Bunny mother — part of what Masten called the company’s “clean-up crew” — were responsible for taking care of the two women, but weren’t allowed to take them to a hospital. Instead, the main goal was to keep the incident “out of the press.”

“These young girls, what they went through — nobody has any idea. My job was to pick up the pieces,” a tearful Masten told filmmakers about the incident, adding that she has an immense amount of “guilt” for not coming forward with the story sooner.

Masten also claimed in the docuseries that the late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who died of natural causes in 2017, “definitely” knew about incidents like the alleged rapes and abductions of the women because, according to Masten, Hefner read the security reports written up by Playboy’s security guards each day.

Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1999

 

Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1999.

Paul Harris/Contributor/Getty Images

In a statement, Playboy voiced its support for the women who had come forward with their stories

Representatives for Hefner’s and Cornelius’ estates didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

When reached by Insider for comment, a representative for Playboy reshared the company’s previous statement on the allegations featured in “Secrets of Playboy,” and directed Insider to an open letter from Playboy’s leadership team discussing the allegations.

“The Hefner family is no longer associated with Playboy, and today’s Playboy is not Hugh Hefner’s Playboy,” the statement reads. “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 continues. “Today, our organization is run by a workforce that is more than 80% female and we will continue to confront any parts of our legacy that do not reflect our values today, and to build upon the progress we have made as we evolve as a company so we can drive positive change for our employees and our communities.”

A statement that appears at the end of Monday’s episode clarifies the nature of the allegations presented on “Secrets of Playboy.”

“This series contains allegations of wrongdoing over decades by Hugh Hefner and others associated with him,” it reads. “The vast majority of allegations have not been the subject of criminal investigations or charges, and they do not constitute proof of guilt.”

New episodes of “Secrets of Playboy” air Mondays on A&E.

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