Would living in a reality show be a blissful experience or a harrowing one? The Shannon Twins starred in the final season of The Girls Next Door, and they’re sharing some horrifying stories about their time on set. Here’s what they had to say.
What Was ‘The Girls Next Door’?
In 2005, E! Collaborated with Playboy to create The Girls Next Door. The reality show brought viewers inside the Playboy Mansion where they were free to see the drama and drunken hijinks. Hugh Hefner starred alongside Playmates Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson. The series was an instant hit and led to numerous spinoffs.
As the series wore on, the original trio of girls grew disillusioned with the lifestyle and wanted to leave the series. While they were contractually obligated to stay for the sixth season, the show instead brought in three new girlfriends for Hefner. Crystal Harris was joined by 19-year-old twin sisters Kristina and Karissa Shannon.
Interest was high for the sixth season, but within weeks viewership cratered from 2.4 million to just 919 thousand, marking the end of the series. The Shannon twins moved out of the mansion before the series ended, but continued to star on the show.
Now They’re Talking
The Shannons sat down on A&E’s Secrets of Playboy to discuss their time on the reality show, and it did not sound good. Shannon says, “He locked us in our bedroom” where the two were kept under strict surveillance. “There would be a security guard sitting outside of our door. … They would always, in the morning, come up with their report of every single thing we did that night the next morning for [Hefner].”
It gets way, way worse. The twins did not want to sleep with Hefner but faced immense pressure to do so. They ultimately caved in, and Karissa got pregnant with his baby. She says, “I felt like there was something, like, like, an alien inside me. I was just grossed out.” To avoid his control, she decided to get an abortion.
Calling Hefner Out
Shannon does not mince words about her experience. “For me, it’s, like, rape. He would use control mechanisms completely throughout everything, so I’m happy that I had the abortion.” Shannon is not the only former Playmate to call out Hefner after his death over horrific treatment. The allegations are serious and leave an indelible mark on Hefner’s complicated legacy.