Despite his old age, Hugh Hefner’s death came as somewhat of a shock. Many questions surround his death, but one is particularly fascinating: who will get his immense fortune? The logistics of his will are not certain, but one thing is for sure: Hugh Hefner’s 31-year old wife won’t see a dime of his inheritance – but it’s not what you think.
At the tender age of 91, Hefner passed away. Initial reports stated that the world’s oldest playboy died due to natural causes, but a later investigation showed that complications stemming from “serious back issues” were the actual cause of death. His back began feeling serious stress two years ago. It was severe enough to develop into an invasive infection that left the controversial millionaire bedridden for several days. He managed to overcome this illness, but the damage was already done.
Millionaire Playboy Philanthropist
While Hugh Hefner lived an incredibly lavish lifestyle, he was always concerned with helping out the community as much as possible. In addition to the plethora of donations Hefner made to charity throughout his lifetime, a portion of his fortune is going to be gifted to charity. This is especially generous, but a bit unusual when you consider that his wife isn’t getting a dime from Hef’s estate. Why? Well, let’s just say this wasn’t their first attempt at marriage…
Hefner did not start out as the wealthy bachelor with an adulterous empire. In fact, quite the opposite. Born in 1926 in Chicago, Hugh grew up in a family he described as “conservative, Midwestern, [and] Methodist.” It did not take long for Hefner to find his one true love that would eventually skyrocket him to the top of the entertainment industry: writing. After earning a degree in psychology and a minor in creative writing, Hugh was ready to take on the world. But the world was already fighting back…
A War Vet
Hugh Hefner had always seemed like a man who was confident under fire. Well, that’s because in 1944, he had to be. At the spry age of 18, Hef took up arms and joined the United States Army to fight in World War II. He was not in the front lines, but Hefner had the harrowing task of writing reports for a military newspaper. After the war, the future millionaire did not get started on his adult magazine right away. That came when he was denied a five dollar raise…
First Esquire, Then The World
Following the second world war, Hugh landed a gig at Esquire magazine as a copywriter. He had dreams of making his own magazine, but was not motivated to take the risk. That all changed when, after being denied a five dollar raise from Esquire, Hefner quit the famed magazine. He set out to make his mark on the industry, but there was one problem: he had no money to finance this venture. So, with dreams of making it big, Hefner funded the first issue of Playboy by turning to an unusual donor: his mother.
A Loan From His Mom
The religious and conservative Grace Hefner is the last person you would expect to buy an adult magazine. So why did she invest $1,000 into making the first edition of Playboy? “Not because she believed in the venture,” Hefner said of his mother’s generosity, “but because she believed in her son.” With this $1,000 in addition to a $7,600 Hugh managed to wrangle from other funders, he launched the first edition of Playboy magazine with, at the time, one of the world’s hottest rising stars on the cover.
The Blonde Bombshell
The first issue of Playboy debuted in December of 1953 and was an instant hit. Despite Hefner’s fear that it would flop, the magazine sold over 50,000 copies in just a few weeks. A big part of this issue’s success was because of its cover model: the one and only Marilyn Monroe. While the photo shoot was from 1949, the star agreed to let Hefner use the photo for his magazine. With that, Hugh quickly grew into the infamous millionaire womanizer – but it might surprise you to know that he was married when he died…
Third Wife’s The Charm
A $43 Million Fortune
With Hefner’s death, he leaves behind a staggering amount of money: $43 million. So where does this go? According to his will, Hugh’s estate will be divided among charities and his four adult children: Christie, David, Marston, and Cooper. The shocker? Hefner is leaving nothing to his wife Crystal. Despite strict laws surrounding marriage and inheritance, Hefner was able to skirt around them. To prevent any “gold digging,” he filled out one ironclad document…
We Want A Prenup
Following the advice of Kanye West’s hit single “Gold Digger,” Hefner decided that when he married Crystal, he would keep all of his wealth upon his death by signing a prenuptual agreement. While some media sources have spun this as Hefner’s last, cruel trick on his “empty-headed” widow, this is far from the case. Crystal knew going into their marriage that a prenup was signed. But a question remains: why did Hefner want to leave his widow with nothing?
For The Kids
Some have speculated that Hefner wanted as much money as possible to go to his children. While they are all grown up, his kids had a close bond with the “Playboy” founder until the very end. By this reading, it would make sense for Hefner to hoard his wealth. However, if he was as close to Crystal as he claimed, why not cut her in on the action? Many media are puzzled, but point to another possible solution for the prenup: their age difference.
Was It The Age Difference?
Many speculate that the prenup was made as a safeguard against gold digging. With Hefner being 60 years older than Crystal, people thought she was just in it for the money. However, when interviewed after their wedding in 2012, both refuted that claim whole-heartedly. “The dramatic age difference between Crystal and me really doesn’t matter,” Hefner said in a post-wedding tweet. “Whatever time I have left, we want to spend together.” Hef must have really had a thing for blonde bombshells – which is why he’s buried next to the most famous one in the world…
Buried Next To Marilyn
Hefner has a thing for blondes to a morbid degree. Preparing for his inevitable end in 1992, Hugh purchased a grave plot for $72,000. This is typical for someone getting up in years. What is not typical is who he is buried next to: Marilyn Monroe. The “Playboy” entrepreneur has history with the blonde bombshell stemming back to his magazine’s first issue, so he thought she would be a fitting cemetery friend. With $72,000 to spend on a grave plot, why couldn’t Hugh leave some for Crystal? Well…
Crystal Got Cold Feet
While the two got married in 2012, they were supposed to be wedded a year prior. However, just five days before the wedding, they ran into a bit of a snag: Crystal got cold feet. Hugh was undoubtedly disappointed, but he stayed patient and married her later under much better circumstances. “This time around is amazing,” Crystal said after the wedding. “I’m very happy and Hef’s very happy, and we’re excited.” Yet, despite this happiness, Crystal got nothing from Hef’s will – but don’t feel too bad for her…
She’ll Be “Looked After”
According to Crystal, she’s not at all worried about not getting any of Hef’s wealth. Why? Because he assured her before his passing that she will be “looked after.” While this phrasing leaves much to the imagination, Crystal will not disclose what this statement actually means. Does Hef have a secret stash no one knows about? Or maybe one of his kids (all of whom are older than Crystal, by the way) will help her out financially? It’s all speculation at this point, but we’ll be watching with bated breath as this story unfolds.