DOMINOES? Oatmeal cookies? Hardly what you associate with the legendary Playboy Mansion. But, according to Playboy bunny Bridget Marquardt, life there wasn’t that wild. She told The New Paper in a phone interview from Los Angeles: “(We’re) very much (like) a family. A lot of... normal things go on there, despite all the craziness.”
The sprawling Los Angeles property is known for its lavish parties and housing its famously voluptuous female residents. It is also home to flamboyant Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, 83.
Marquardt, 36, became one of Hefner’s three live-in girlfriends in 2002 and starred in his US reality TV series The Girls Next Door. The other two were Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson.
All three have broken up with Hefner and moved out of the mansion.
Since then, Marquardt, now dating US director Nicholas Carpenter, has busied herself with her new travel TV show, Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches.
She revealed that one of the “normal” things Hefner and the girls did at the mansion was to play games like dominoes, Monopoly and Uno.
“On Thursday nights, we would actually stay at home and play games. I think that’s something that people don’t expect from the mansion,” she said.
“At dinner... he would rather just go straight to the ice cream and cookies. He has a scoop of strawberry ice cream and an oatmeal cookie every single night.”
Marquardt entered Playboy’s Millennium Playmate search in 1998 after friends suggested she pose for the magazine. She was also a dancer at strip club chain Spearmint Rhino then.
She was unsuccessful in getting photographed for Playboy, but was invited to visit the mansion.
Hefner, separated since 1998 from his wife of 20 years, ex-Playmate Kimberly Conrad, recently filed for divorce. They have two sons Marston Glenn, 19, and Cooper Bradford, 18. He now lives with three new girlfriends – 23-year-old Crystal Harris and 19-year-old twins Kristina and Karissa Shannon.
If Marquardt’s new role as a travel show host sounds vastly different from life in the Playboy Mansion, her bold antics assure you it’s not.
Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches – which premieres on Discovery Travel & Living (StarHub Ch 16) on 3 Dec at 10pm – is all about the cultures of holiday destinations and her adventures, as well as those of guests like Playmates Amber Campisi and Pilar Lastra.
She couldn’t resist the urge to go skinny-dipping with Playmate Sara Underwood in Croatia, which has “amazing limestone beaches with crystal clear waters”.
The pair hadn’t brought along their bikinis – Marquardt says she owns more than 1,000 pieces – as they thought they were there to hike.
On the show, Marquardt also explores the partying scene in various destinations like Phuket and Ibiza.
And yes, the 1.65m-tall 34D-25-36 Marquardt mimics former Playmate Pamela Anderson’s famous run along the beach in the ’90s TV series Baywatch.
She even wore a replica of Baywatch’s famous red swimsuit for an episode shot in Southern California.
She recalled: “(At) every single beach... we did a 30-second clip where I would... do the slow-motion run right past the camera.
“(One of Baywatch’s creators) Michael Berk... met me and brought me a Baywatch jacket, a real one with the patches and everything on it.”
She had a few accidents too.
Once, she crash-landed 30m above a Phuket beach while para-sailing and sustained a few bumps and bruises.
Also in Thailand, she was caught underneath a sail while windsurfing.
While skinny-dipping in Croatia, she stepped on a sea urchin and shed merely “a drop of blood”.
And in Mexico, a stingray bit her leg “really bad” when she was feeding it.
All of which wasn’t as unnerving as the far-from-sexy appearance of some male beachgoers.
She said: “It was an epidemic. Everywhere we went, there were tonnes of guys in Speedos.
Unless you have a rocking body, you just shouldn’t be pulling that off.
“And most of the people who wore Speedos didn’t have great bodies.”
Only the guys she met at a lifeguard competition in Australia had her stamp of approval.
“Every guy there was in a Speedo, of course, for speed,” she said.
“And they all had amazing bodies.”
This article was first published in The New Paper.