Twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon were the stars of the last season of “The Girls Next Door,” a reality show that featured life inside the Playboy mansion with Hugh Hefner.
Now the sisters are making disturbing claims about what was going on at the mansion, including the allegation that they were expected to have sex with Hefner the night of their 19th birthday.
“Secrets of Playboy,” airing on A&E, is hosted by Inside Edition chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero.
“When I heard about their stories, it broke my heart. Because they were so young, so vulnerable,” Guerrero said.
Karissa and Kristina were 18 years old when they got the offer to star with Hefner in the show, replacing the original cast that included Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson.
“Hef wrote a letter — old school — and he said, ‘I would love for you guys to be my girlfriends and move in with me and film the Girls Next Door show.’ So when we got the letter, we were like, of course, we’re gonna go,” Kristina said.
Karissa says she was shocked later when she learned she was pregnant with Hefner’s baby. She felt she couldn’t tell him.
“I didn’t want him to know I was pregnant. I didn’t want him to want me to have it. I didn’t want to be stuck even more inside that bubble,” Karissa said.
Lisa Guerrero has her own experience with the Playboy empire. After achieving fame as a sideline reporter for ABC Monday night football, she finally agreed to Playboy’s long-standing request for her to appear on the magazine’s cover.
“I was called a celebrity cover. So I was able to choose the photographer, choose the pictures, choose the location. I went to Paris. I had my female manager, my mother-in-law and my best girlfriend with me, so I very much was in the power position,” Guerrero said.
Guerrero says her long-ago experiences with Playboy were positive, but she realizes many women, like Karissa and Kristina, see things differently.
“After I’ve seen ‘Secrets of Playboy,’ I realize that I dodged a bullet. That those women’s stories, their traumas, their experiences — that could have been me,” Guerrero said.
The new episodes of “Secrets of Playboy” begin airing Monday.