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Hef’s Birthday Party

In document Hefnerland - The Book (Page 79-89)

I had received my first letter from Hef inviting me to his birthday party! Based on Hef’s letter, it was coming up, so I was expecting to get an official invitation. Bruce thought that the party list had been made long before I wrote Hef and his staff probably didn’t get a chance to put me on the party list. He suggested that I would probably get on the next one. I read Hef’s letter several times and couldn’t help but think it really seemed as though he was saying how excited he was to have me come. Additions to the list didn’t seem like a problem—a t lest to me—for him to make. I waited for a week or so, hoping to receive an invitation, but without success. I decided to write another letter. And thank goodness I did!

Dear Hef,

I can’t believe you took the time to write back personally. It was a complete shock! I will keep this letter forever. Thank you so much. I so hope that I get invited to your birthday party so that I can wish you Happy Birthday in person, but if you have other plans for me, I will understand. I have been excited to check my mail every day since your letter arrived.

P.S. My photo shoot for Playboy.com is going to be published April 11, 2002. It is going to be under Guy 101 Poker. I teach the guys how to play Texas Hold ‘em—my best game!

A few days later the Playboy Mansion called, telling me I was on the party list. They informed me of the time, date, and dress code. I was so excited I screamed with joy!

The whole experience was so amazing I decided to write my family a letter explaining lots of the details of the party just so I could replay the my visit to the Playboy Mansion for Hugh Hefner’s birthday bash again in my mind. The letter read as follows:

Dear loved ones,

I am writing a letter to all of you so you can read about my adventure to the Playboy Mansion on April 6, 2002, Hugh Hefner’s 76th birthday. To prepare, I had a guy named Jeremy do my hair at 2:15 and Zethina do my makeup at 3:00 at a salon in Scottsdale. From there Bruce and I went to the airport and took a flight out at 5:30 pm to LAX. Commerce Casino, the hotel where we were staying for the night, sent a van to pick us up. We checked in and then went downstairs to get a floor man to see if they would authorize dropping me off at the Playboy Mansion. Luckily, they recognized me from playing tons of poker at their casino, and I had called prior asking for it. It was written on a piece of paper that I would be going. So, at 8:30 the hotel provided us a free limo to UCLA where the pickup point was for the party. The driver did not know where UCLA was! We had the letter with me from Mr. Hefner and his home address so we went to the mansion, but they would not allow the driver to drop us off there. We had to make our way to UCLA. The door person at the mansion told the driver

80 how to get there, but he didn’t listen and we were lost again. A half-hour trip turned into about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

We got to the destination point at UCLA and then came the big scare— was my name on the list?

There was also a huge sign that read NO PERSONAL CAMERAS, so I took my camera out of my purse and gave it to Bruce. The driver and Bruce waited for me to make sure before leaving me there. There were lots of people. They had the alphabet divided up in threes and everyone stood in the line their last name corresponded with. When it was my turn, to my delight, my name was there. I had to show two forms of ID to prove my identity. They stamped my left hand with some kind of stamp. I gave the shuttle driver and Bruce the thumbs up and they drove off.

A man with a Polaroid gave me a number to remember and snapped a picture. He wrote my cell number down and then put my picture with that corresponding number. This way they could decide if they would invite you back to the next party or not, based on looks or whatever. We all piled into an elevator and at the top we got into a shuttle bus that took us to the mansion less than a mile away. They indicated that there was not enough parking for

everyone to drive their own vehicles. The only people allowed to park at the mansion were the stars or close friends.

We entered the gates of the mansion, and it was so beautiful; the entire pathway was lit up with tiny white Christmas lights. When we stopped at the front door and we all got out, they checked each hand for the proper stamp. Through the door there was a coat and purse valet. I chose not to, but the lady suggested I look around first and then decide. I had seen a line of girls when

I first walked in and took my place there. It was a line for a one-stall bathroom. All of us wanted to check our appearance.

It didn’t take long, but while I was in line I asked a girl next to me if this was the only bathroom. She replied “Aren’t you a Playmate? You should know.”

At that point I was in great spirits; felt I really fit in. I could tell right away that almost everyone knew each other and that most of them had come with two or three of their girlfriends. All of the guests seemed to be from California and live pretty close to the mansion. I felt a little nervous, too. Like high school all over again. The mansion was decorated into art deco Old Hollywood. The front entry room was a no-holds-barred techno rave room in what they called the Great Hall. I decided to walk around—see who was there. The dance floor was right near the entrance, and I made my way through the people dancing and found a room filled with desserts—chocolate-covered strawberries, cookies, chocolates and fresh strawberries. I asked two very cute, very young guy waiters if it was alright to be in there. They told me that anywhere was okay. Off of this room there was another with tables with older people drinking. None of them were in lingerie. I passed an open bar where there were many people in line for drinks and a full complement of bartenders serving.

I wandered down some steps and there, to the right, was Hugh Hefner and all of his girlfriends. My heart stopped and I started to forget to breathe for the moment. Suddenly I heard my name called. I turned around to see the photographer from Chicago who had picked me for the shoot—Chad Doering. I was so excited to see him since I didn’t know a soul at the party. He was pleased for me that I had gotten the invitation to the party. He told me to go over to Hef, and he would take my picture and e-mail it to me. So I scooted over to Hef and asked if I could take a picture with him. He stood up and we posed. Then I went right back to Chad. He

showed me what it looked like on his digital camera. I thanked him, and he wished me a good evening. I was off again.

I passed another open bar. I headed to the pool area where there was yet another large open bar. I wandered down another hallway where I found a sauna, steam room, and about three bathroom areas with styling stations. No one was in the pool, but there were a lot of people sitting around it. There were electric heaters everywhere to keep guests warm. Finally, I hooked up

with this beautiful girl named Rhonda. She was a clothing designer, and she happened to make clothes for one of Hefner’s girls. We hit it off and hung out much of the entire night until about 2:30 a.m. when she went home.

We toured the place, doing nothing in particular. She was there with two other girls and knew

everyone. I followed them as they made the rounds. I was in line waiting to go to the bathroom again and this friend of Rhonda’s asked what month I was. I told them that this month I was on Playboy.com and that it was my first time at a party; that I had come by myself. They invited me to join them, but I told them I was already forcing Rhonda to take me with her. They laughed and said if I changed my mind I could hang out with them.

The rest of the night they waved and said hello as they passed by.

Rhonda started talking to this guy for a long time in one of the sauna rooms so I hung out with some other girls that we had been dancing with. The group was Miss June and her three friends. The party was awesome, and I never felt that anyone was staring at me. The stars were busy talking to whoever was trying to get their attention at the time. Otherwise there was no one kissing or having sex.

It was a fantastic party. The ratio was about one guy for every ten gals. They had two large areas with food that included gigantic shrimp, fruit, and finger sandwiches. There were no speeches, birthday wishes—

nothing. I tried to sit down at the Hugh Hefner table with all of the girls. This did not work. I asked Amber, one of his most beautiful girlfriends, about it and she said the table was only for the current Playmates and his girlfriends. I told her I thought I would ask because many of the girls at the table were not as beautiful as his girlfriends so I thought it would be that anyone could sit down. She smiled and said that was so nice. As I walked away she repeated what I had said to Mr. Hefner, and he chuckled about it. I was being truthful. The table was set for about fifteen and, at the time I asked, there were about four seats open. Can’t say I didn’t try.

I’m sure you’re all wondering if I saw any celebrities. There were a lot of stars there, but I am not the best with names. Many of them I will not even list. I recognized them but could not remember their names.

The ones I definitely knew were Weird Al, 24’s Kiefer Sutherland, Scott Baio, Jeanette Jonsson, Jon Lovitz, Snoop Dog and his entire crew, Melissa Rivers, Stephanie

Heinrich, Michelle Rodgers, Michael Bay (this is mentioned right below also), Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer from the TV sitcom “Friends” and Hef’s brother. Drew Barrymore was reportedly there, but I didn’t see her—what a shame!

In addition to all these famous people I also saw Playmate Ava Fabian and Mickey Rourke. Bush frontman, Gavin Rossdale, and video director, Shawn Mortensen, were flanked by the Van Patten brothers, Jimmy and Nels. Pearl Harbor director, Michael Bay and his girlfriend, Playmate Lisa Dergan, wished Hef a happy birthday. I saw, Kato Kalin, Judd Nelson, Kylie Bax, and North by Northwest’s Martin Landau. All of the stars gave me hugs, even the guys. What a rush. They were regular people and seemed excited and very receptive to us talking with them.

I decided to look around the property. I went into the Grotto, which is the secret place at the mansion that everyone talks about. It was an incredible setting surrounded with plants, flowers—orchids in every color and blooming jasmine—and huge granite rocks. Even here, no detail was overlooked, and it had ten huge candles burning to give it atmosphere. It was very humid because it was the size of four or five Jacuzzis all in one room. If you went underwater you could swim out into the pool. There were just a few couples sitting next to each area. There were girls with painted outfits on passing out Jell-o shooters. They were doing this for most of the night until they finally got to join the rest of the party. Though they were wearing nothing but paint, it still covered more than a lot of the other people were wearing.

Everyone was taking pictures, and I could have had the best collection of shots if I hadn’t followed the rules and left the camera behind. I could have taken rolls and rolls. Everything was so amazing. I know I’ll never forget it, but it would have been wonderful to have the pictures. There were two bare-breasted girls wearing g-strings and jewels on their nipples. Otherwise, it was very tame. No one was wearing anything overly revealing—no more so than you would see in an L.A. or Manhattan club. I would say that the bathing suits I see at a local beach were more revealing. I didn’t see anyone flash anyone. I did—twice—one for the movie camera guy when he was filming and one when they took a group picture with me, Hef and his girls. I figured this would be the only way I would make the Playboy mansion party video by doing it. So I did. We shall see. I rented the Playboy Mansion party video before going to the party, and it seemed the only girls that were featured flashed or were very skimpily dressed. That’s why I did it. Okay, so it was a moment of


82 Of course, there were some more “interesting” people. Some guy said he was a movie producer and wanted to know if I would like to do some acting. I told him no; that I didn’t have the time but thanked him.

He pressed a little, saying it paid $40,000 a week. Thanks but no thanks. What a freak! I figured it was probably porn or something. I didn’t have the Hollywood stars in my eyes that badly to get sucked into that.

Playboy magazine is one thing—anything else is out of the question.

I stuffed everything I could think of for every contingency into my purse. I brought flip-flops in case the heel of my shoe broke, a change of outfits in case the one I was wearing got ruined, a shower cap in case I wanted to swim and not get my hair wet, my cell phone to call Bruce when to pick me up, lipstick, lip liner, and a black eyeliner pencil. I was prepared for the worst.

I did slip on my flip-flops to head out across the lawn to see his mini zoo. Can you imagine living in a house with your own zoo? And you know what an animal lover I am! Though it was dark and dimly lit there were lots of monkeys and birds of every sort and color. As I pressed into the area further it looked like a fairy tale. It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. A tropical rain forest in the middle of Los Angeles! The landscape was plush and green with that fresh, after-a-rain smell. Little droplets of water were clinging to the leaves, and there was a hush to the place as the waterfalls drowned out the sounds of the party, and beyond that the city noises of L.A. Waterfalls cascaded everywhere. It was so peaceful. I came to a pool with

oversized double lounge chairs. I walked around to the front and found tons of gorgeous flowers planted in the center surrounding a fountain.

There were more areas of the mansion and grounds to see than I could wander in a week. I was told it was three stories, 300-rooms on six acres in the ritzy Holmby Hills of California. I hadn’t seen any part of the upstairs or the large guest area that was about as big as the mansion itself. I did get into the TV room where they played movies. I had read about this room and it said Friday nights Hef and his pals watch movies from the 30’s and 40’s. On Monday nights Hef and his pals watch vintage movie serials. I stopped to pause at all the history and celebrities that had been in this room and how many movies had been seen. I decided to leave and called Bruce. While going to find a quiet spot to make a call, there was a waiter playing with a cat that, when I tried to pet it, acted really strangely. Suddenly it thought the bottom of my outfit was a play toy and attacked the train. Eventually it released the fabric and went on its way. I headed out the door and, as soon as I started to move, the cat was back—even more tenaciously than the first time! I was sure the train of my outfit would have holes and pulls in it. It already had stains, from all kinds of drinks, from brushing on the ground.

Even with my 6-inch heels, the gown still touched the ground. I did get lots of compliments on the dress from all of the girls.

Miss June left with John Lovitz in his BMW along with her three friends that I had hung out with a lot of the night . . . I took the shuttle home at 4:30 a.m., and Bruce, with a guy from the casino, picked me up and we went back to the casino. We flew home later that day at 1:00 p.m. That was a wrap.

P.S. I talked to Rhonda and asked her if she had noticed on Playboy.com that Drew Barrymore was there; that I didn’t see her. She told me that I had stood right next to her. She was very tiny with reddish hair.

Why didn’t you tell me, I asked her? She didn’t know I liked her so much. Next time I will pay closer attention!

That was the letter I sent to my mom, grandparents, Bruce’s parents and some personal friends. I didn’t specify ALL of the details. There were just some things I left out because I forgot, or I felt were a little too risky to tell them.

Naturally the Playboy.com website ran an article about the Hef’s birthday party. They said the birthday bash is one of the toughest parties to get invited to, with a very limited number of invitees. It read

“imagine the odds of making the cut for Hef’s intimate birthday bash, limited to only 500 guests.” Imagine being in business for almost fifty years and all the people and friends you have met along the way wanting to be invited. Most of us never have a chance to plan a party that big. Even weddings are less than half that amount of people. The article reported that prior to the party they watched a James Cagney movie with fifty of his closest friends and joined the party flanked by girlfriends Holly Madison, Izabella Kasprzyk, Tiffany

“imagine the odds of making the cut for Hef’s intimate birthday bash, limited to only 500 guests.” Imagine being in business for almost fifty years and all the people and friends you have met along the way wanting to be invited. Most of us never have a chance to plan a party that big. Even weddings are less than half that amount of people. The article reported that prior to the party they watched a James Cagney movie with fifty of his closest friends and joined the party flanked by girlfriends Holly Madison, Izabella Kasprzyk, Tiffany

In document Hefnerland - The Book (Page 79-89)