Hugh Hefner’s Son, Cooper, Says Playboy is Art, Not Porn

Jan 07

Since Hugh Hefner has just married a woman 60 years younger, he seems to be ready settle down and try married life again. The person next in-line to take over the business is Hugh’s youngest son Cooper Hefner.

Cooper who is in his third year of college, says he has big plans for the business and is ready to take over. He insists that Playboy is not porn, it’s art. “If you consider Playboy pornography, then you consider any photo of a nude woman or man pornography,” says Cooper, flanked by Tony his bodyguard in the London Playboy Club in Mayfair. “If somebody is trying to argue the point that Playboy is pornography, then you probably shouldn’t be showering or going to a museum where there’s nude art. That’s very hypocritical.”

And the bunny girls – they’re empowering, of course. “I don’t think Playboy objectifies women. I think you’re going to talk to many women who think that putting on the bunny outfit objectifies women and you’re going to talk to just as many women who think putting on the bunny outfit empowers women. So be it. They’re entitled to their views.”

“There are many domestic issues in the US that bother me, such as gay rights or fighting for the legalization of marijuana. But as we go global we need to stand for more important issues internationally. Women’s rights in the Middle East and internet censorship in China are two things we can stand for and have an influence in, especially when we’re coming into these emerging markets like India and we’re faced with the challenge of opening up Playboy clubs where the bunnies can’t even wear bunny outfits. You have these countries which are in a very similar place sexually – especially when it comes to gender roles – where the US was when my dad first started.”

Cooper definitely grew up in an unconventional way. Much of his life was spent in the Playboy Mansion, his mother was Miss January 1988, Kimberly Conrad, his father’s second wife whom he married in 1989. In the late 1980’s, after suffering from a stroke, Hefner was said to have toned down the all-night parties. The marriage lasted 10 years and, after they separated, Hefner bought the mansion next to his Playboy Mansion – which he actually rents from Playboy Enterprises – just outside LA for Conrad and her two sons, Cooper and Marston. Cooper says he had a bed in each home. “There’s always this perception that there were always these nude girls running around and there were all these crazy parties. To tell you the truth, when my brother and I were over at my dad’s, this wasn’t the case. My parents were still trying to be parents.” His brother Marston was recently sentenced to a 52-week domestic violence program after allegedly beating his Playmate girlfriend Claire Sinclair.

Hefner’s two elder children from his first marriage remain enigmas. No one is quite sure what happened to David, born 1955. The rumors range from his suffering amnesia after an accident to claims that he owns a computer consulting firm. Hefner’s daughter Christie was chairwoman of Playboy, but stepped down in 2009 to give more time to charitable work.

The Playboy business is not in the same state as it used to be…  According to divorce paperwork filed in 2009, Hugh Hefner estimated his net worth at $43 million. The circulation of the magazine has declined from a peak of seven million in the 1970s to 1.5 million today – no doubt hit by internet porn, yet it still attracts the odd famous writer. The money-spinners these days are the TV channels, clubs, merchandising and casinos.

What are the next steps for Cooper? He says he will not exactly follow in his father’s footsteps: “I have no intentions of putting on silk pajamas and smoking a pipe.”

 

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