Playboy founder Hugh Hefner released a statement Monday saying former girlfriend Holly Madison’s new book is her attempt to “rewrite history in an attempt to stay in the spotlight.” In an extensive interview with FOX411, Madison says she’s not interested in Hefner’s opinion, and that her book “Down the Rabbit Hole” is “the truth.” She also talks about what her life is like now, and what she would do if her daughter was asked to move into Hef's mansion.
FOX411: What did you think of the statement Hugh Hefner released?
Holly Madison: Well I was never really interested on what he had to say about this book. Everything I write is the truth. I didn't write it to get revenge or say, 'Ha ha' or anything like that. If I was going to do that I would have done it a long time ago. I wanted to share my side of the story to get the truth about me out there and hopefully inspire other people who are in bad situations.
FOX411: So why did you wait so long to tell your story?
Madison: For so many years I just didn't want to write about my years at the mansion, when I was out promoting my TV shows and my live shows, I just didn't want to be known as Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend. I wanted to stand on my own two feet so I just didn't want to talk about it and over time it just became the elephant in the room that I couldn't get away from and I realized everybody else had had their chance to tell their side of the story or to make assumptions about me that weren't really true so finally I got to tell my own version of the story.
FOX411: You say the mansion was in disrepair.
Madison: It was just kind of unkempt inside in a way that was kind of surprising. It was just messy and there were nine dogs in the house so there were accidents everywhere and old carpet and things like that.
FOX411: You say Hef pitted the girls against each other.
Madison: Yeah definitely we were manipulated to not get along. He would always tell us that he wanted us to all get along but looking back I see there were a lot of instances of him going back and forth and creating a lot of drama that made him feel desired and fought over. He certainly didn't want seven girls banding together and taking charge of the relationship.
FOX411: He was 78 and you were 22.
Madison: Everyone focuses on the age difference but when I look back and it was the way I was treated not the age difference... it wasn't even the most stand out thing about the relationship.
FOX411: What's the worst thing that stands out?
Madison: The way he treated us and belittled us and always made me feel ugly, always made me feel worthless and once the show started filming, told us that we were replaceable and anybody could do our jobs. The fact that I put up with that, I'm amazed. All the girls that moved in there were young. When I moved in there I was fresh off the bus from Oregon. I lived there for seven years. It was the only thing I'd known in my adult life. All these girls were young, star struck, blinded by fame and money and that's definitely what he preys on.
FOX411: What were you hoping to get?
Madison: I thought it would be a stepping stone to something, maybe I'd be in the magazine. I was looking for a fun adventure and I thought, maybe this is it.
FOX411: What did you hate most about living in the mansion?
Madison: I think the feeling of being limited really bothered me. When I moved in I was in college and waitressing and not long after I moved in Hef pressured me to give up the waitressing job and that really felt like a blow because even though it was this little job where I wasn't making much money, it was still my key to the outside world and my key to feeling like I was doing something for myself, still being somewhat independent so I think that was a watershed moment for me.
FOX411: The bedroom scene where women were urged to make out with one another and then have sex with Hefner sounds awful.
Madison: I wasn't really into that scene. As time went on it happened less and less. I'm just glad I'm not there anymore.
FOX411: What was the final straw?
Madison: I lived there for seven years. I tried so much to love him and be a good girlfriend. I was always blaming the problems on the others girls and always making excuses for him in my mind but after about seven years Bridget and Kendra were getting ready to leave and it was coming to the point where I was the only girl there, which I had convinced myself was what I always wanted and what other people thought I always wanted, but without the other girls to play against me his true colors really came out and there was one weekend where he kind of came down on my verbally several times over really stupid things and I just thought, 'I can't deal with this. I can't be yelled at by this man for no reason.'
FOX411: You have a daughter. What would you do if she moved into a similar situation?
Madison: I would probably have her forcibly removed! I think a lot of other people can learn from my mistakes. There's a lot of other people out there in bad relationships who are afraid to leave for whatever reason and I want to inspire people to get out of those relationships and not feel branded a decision they made and take charge of their own lives.
FOX411: You don't have very flattering things to say about Kendra.
Madison: I don't think it's that I don't write nicely about her. I told the truth, the good and the bad. We have a lot great memories together and her friendship was always very important to me. She cut me off in a way that was very hurtful to me several years ago. I know she's going through a hard time right now and I wish her and her family the best.
FOX411: What's life like now?
Madison: I'm really happy. I'm married. I have a two-year-old daughter. I loved writing this book. I can't wait to write another one. I'm a very, very happy person.