Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt admitted that watching old episodes of the E! reality series Girls next door, documenting their time in the Playboy house has taken an emotional toll.
Hugh Hefner’s former co-stars and girlfriends recently announced that they’ve created a podcast together titled Girls Next Level to revisit the reality show that launched their career and give audiences a behind-the-scenes look. While the duo is excited about the joint venture, they told Heather McDonald that it was hard to rethink that part of their lives.
“Holly warned me the first three episodes were really hard to watch and when she said I thought she just meant I got used to seeing them again and once you get past three episodes you’re good, said Marquardt on the comedian Juicy Scoop podcasting. “I didn’t realize until I saw them not last night but the night before and I’m still traumatized. Like I’m sick to my stomach, can’t sleep, I’ve been crying.”
While Marquardt recalled a more positive experience at the mansion than Madison, she said she “has no ill feelings for Kendra. [Wilkinson] or Lift or [the show’s producer] Kevin [Burns] or whoever,” Marquardt acknowledged that the way she was portrayed on the show left her with complicated emotions.
“We get labeled as the bitches immediately, immediately in episode one,” she says of her and Madison, adding that vulnerable conversations she had on camera were cut to make Marquardt look like she was “just this jealous bitch.” was that I got people drunk and sabotaged their images.”
“I think that’s confused and illegal,” Madison added, noting that she had some issues with the show’s producer after deciding to leave the Playboy house. In the end, she credited Burns for the unfavorable portrayal of Marquardt and herself.
“I think it was more the producer who wanted the drama and wanted us to look mean and not care,” Madison said. “And that’s also confusing because we felt like we had a close friendship with Kevin and now that we’re getting older and looking back and seeing what he did, it’s a really bad feeling.”
Madison started looking back at the show in response to requests from her YouTube subscribers asking her to share her response on her channel. However, a few episodes later, she wasn’t sure if it was healthy for her to revisit.
“When I made those first reaction videos, I told viewers that I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to continue with these because they’re not good for my mental health,’” she recalls. “I had just come to watch the Secrets of Playboy and then I watch this and I’m like, I don’t have the bandwidth for this.”
Even after watching episodes of the A&E docuseries she participated in, Madison said she felt emotionally unstable.
“I had a nightmare that I was back at the mansion every night after Secrets of Playboy,” she told McDonald. “I don’t want to see myself talking about my trauma again. I can’t handle it.”
Marquardt had similar issues when she rewatched the reality series with Madison for their new podcast. However, the two expressed hope that reliving their experiences together will be a healing process.
“I hope it gets better from here,” Marquardt said.
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