Meet Hugh Hefner's 4 Kids

The following article mentions sexual misconduct allegations.

Hugh Hefner was many things. He was the founder of Playboy magazine, a leader in a movement that ushered in new attitudes about sexuality in the United States, a champion of equal rights among marginalized communities. He was accused of sexual misconduct and mistreating the women he lived with. He was a hero to some and a villain to others. And yes, he was also a family man. That said, being a family man didn't always come easily to him.

"I don't enjoy parenthood as such," Hefner told Vanity Fair in 2001. "I don't have a lot in common with children. I must say that in the early part of my second marriage I enjoyed it—in my first marriage my head was somewhere else completely. I really didn't want the children. ... I accepted it as simply a part of life. But parenthood is not a natural thing to me, and it wasn't to my parents, and I think you pass that on to some extent."

While "The Girls Next Door" cast member Holly Madison was one of Hefner's most high-profile relationships, they never wed. He was first married to Mildred Williams, then to Kimberley Conrad. Finally, Hefner married Crystal Harris, who would later become his widow. With two of those women, Hefner had children. Despite what that Vanity Fair interview quote suggests, Hefner had a distinct bond with each of his children. And now, they're all grown up and following their own paths. Take a closer look at Hugh Hefner's four kids. 

Christie Hefner was his only daughter

For many years, anyone familiar with Hugh Hefner's children was likely most familiar with his daughter, Christie Hefner. The only daughter Hugh had, Christie was born to him and his first wife, Mildred Williams, in 1952. When she was 4 years old, her parents split. Christie's childhood was mostly spent in Wilmette, Illinois, but she did spend time with her father at the original Playboy Mansion in Chicago, as it wasn't until she was an adult that Hugh moved to Los Angeles. After her father's death, Christie opened up to Playboy about her unique childhood, sharing that she and Hugh weren't especially close back then. "Growing up, I thought of him kind of like a favorite uncle — someone I knew absolutely loved me and would be there for me but not someone who knew who my friends were or what I was interested in," she said. 

As Christie aged, she got to know her father better, and she realized that the two were quite different; Christie prefers a monogamous lifestyle and keeping out of the spotlight. Despite their differences, the two forged a strong bond. "Our attitudes, values and instincts are remarkably similar ... Growing up in the last 30 years, she might very well have developed a different set of attitudes toward me. Thank God she didn't," Hugh told The Washington Post of his daughter back in 1983.

She worked for Playboy for many years

Part of the reason Hugh Hefner and his eldest child, Christie Hefner, became so close is because she worked at Playboy for decades. A year after Christie graduated college, her father asked her to join him at his company. The brand was faltering a bit, and Christie's influence turned it into a profitable venture once again. "[Hugh] felt that having me in Chicago at a time that the company was going through a major restructuring and reorganization with a lot of new executives being brought in — to have someone here through that period — would be helpful to him," Christie told The Washington Post in 1983. Eventually, Christie became the CEO of Playboy.

Just as her father did, while working for Playboy, Christie dealt with criticism over the brand, with naysayers claiming that the magazine objectified women and set their causes back. But Christie felt that the magazine was inherently feminist, and she never let the negative feedback control her work. "I was in good company in that there were a lot of women that wrote for the magazine and worked for the company who shared a common view that being feminist didn't mean you were anti-male, that men could both admire and desire women," Christie told Fox 32 Chicago.

Christie Hefner now works in the beauty space

Christie Hefner didn't stay at Playboy forever. After decades spent working at the company, many of them as chairman and CEO, Hefner left Playboy to pursue other opportunities. Hefner didn't just have her pick, though, as she shared at an event in 2012. "Leaving Playboy, I was warned not everyone would return my call right away," Hefner said, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. "In a way, that liberated me to make choices about how I wanted to spend my professional time." Ultimately, Hefner ended up working for Canyon Ranch Enterprises, overseeing growth and expanding revenue opportunities. Now, Hefner is the chairman of Hatch Beauty.

As for her personal life, Hefner does not have any children; she has been divorced from her ex-husband, William Marovitz, since 2013. Some of her other professional accomplishments include co-founding The Chicago Network, becoming the first woman to join the Chicago Chapter of the Young Presidents' Organization, and being named to the list of Most Powerful Women three separate times by Fortune. And Hefner will always look back fondly at her time with Playboy. "I'm proud of what I did. Before any other publishing company, we figured out that we needed to redefine the brand from being just a publisher to being a multimedia brand," Hefner said of her work with the company.

David Hefner keeps a low profile

David Hefner, Hugh Hefner's second child with Mildred Williams, arrived in 1955. While Christie Hefner took an active interest in Playboy and publicized her career, David has been much more private, and most of what's known about him is from what his sister and father have shared. Per Christie's aforementioned interview with The Washington Post, Hugh was not a daily fixture in her and David's life while they were growing up. "[Hugh and Mildred] hadn't had much contact because my stepfather was so sensitive about any kind of ongoing presence of my father in our family," Christie said of her parents' relationship after they got divorced.

Years later, in an interview with The New York Times, Hugh was asked about David, and the Playboy mogul respected his son's privacy, only noting that he was in college and earning good grades. "Because society's expectations are so different for men and women, I think it is much more difficult to be my son than my daughter. I don't think it reflects any separation from me, but rather a need at this particular point in his life to be himself," Hugh said of his relationship with his son at the time. The two did spend time together throughout Hugh's life, with David joining his siblings to play games with their father.

Marston Hefner grew up at the Playboy Mansion

In 1989, Hugh Hefner got married again. After his first marriage ended, Hugh wed Kimberley Conrad, a former Playmate. During their union, the couple welcomed sons Marston Hefner and Cooper Hefner. Conrad and Hugh separated after nine years of marriage, but they didn't divorce until 2009 as they wanted to stay married for their children's sake. Conrad, Marston, and Cooper lived at the Playboy Mansion with Hugh until Hugh and Conrad's separation. In the wake of the split, the three moved into another house on the property. 

Marston, who was born in 1990, connected with his father during their weekly game nights. "We talk about what's going on in school. My latest stuff. I've always been able to go over and talk, but when it came to doing something together, we'd have to plan it out beforehand. He's a really busy guy," Marston told GQ about his relationship with his father in 2008.

Despite not living in the Playboy Mansion for his entire childhood, he still spent a tremendous amount of time there. In addition to game nights, Marston was at the Mansion for parties, holidays, and other special events, making for a very unique adolescent experience. "Seeing naked people occasionally, that's — it's just the lifestyle of growing up as Hugh Hefner's son, in his shadow. It's not a boo-hoo sob story. But it's not the same as every other kid," Marston said.

Marston Hefner has a wife and a kid

In many ways, Marston Hefner's life looks far different from his father's, but in some, it's quite similar. In 2022, Marston marriedAnna Hefner, and in 2023, the two welcomed their first child. "I always wanted to be a parent, and I just never found the person who felt right for me or who wanted to do it with me, for the long term. Now, it feels like I'm really in that Hollywood romance stage of things," Marston told People after becoming a father. 

Marston and Anna also share similar feelings about allowing their child to do whatever he wants in the future. "As long as he feels supported and he feels he can express himself to be whoever he wants to be, that's the most important thing," Anna said. While Marston has not had much professional affiliation with Playboy, he did inherit his father's love for the written word. Marston works as a writer, and he's published a collection of short stories called "High School Romance."

Marston also keeps in touch with his dad's widow. Crystal Hefner (née Harris) and Hugh Hefner's relationship began when Marston was a teenager, and she was a part of the magazine titan's life until he died. In 2023, Crystal Hefner and her stepson reunited for her podcast, and the two seemed to get on swimmingly. The following year, Crystal shared with Hello! magazine that she planned to take one of Marston's kids to Disneyland. 

He's been at odds with his family over his OnlyFans account

Hugh Hefner played a big part in the sexual revolution in the '60s through Playboy, and a large part of his brand was sexual freedom and finding power through sexuality. However, it seems that not everyone in the Hefner family has had the same thoughts about sexuality, at least not when it comes to males. In 2023, Marston Hefner, Hugh's third child, joined the platform OnlyFans, and he immediately began posting explicit content. However, he was met with criticism from his family over his venture. "You can be the CEO of the people getting naked, but don't be the person getting naked," Marston shared in an interview with The Messenger, as reported by E! News. "You can pay sex workers but you can't f***ing be one? It's f***ing bulls***. That upsets me."

Despite the pushback from his family, Marston has been open about his experience on the platform. "People [on OnlyFans] are like immediately receptive, interesting, encouraging, affirming, kind. It feels good, it feels healthy to have that energy," Marston shared with his dad's exes Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt on an episode of their podcast "Girls Next Level" in 2023 And Marston is raking it in on the platform. He's earned enough as a creator to spend $100,000 on two Pokémon cards and a copy of the first comic to feature Spider-Man. 

Cooper Hefner worked at Playboy, too

Aside from Christie Hefner, Hugh Hefner's youngest child, Cooper Hefner, has been the most involved in Playboy. Cooper was born in 1991, and the bulk of his childhood was spent living in a house on the Playboy Mansion property. He did, however, spend lots of time at the Mansion itself, and that influence stuck. In the 2010s, Cooper became chief creative officer at Playboy. "Creating something that resonates with my generation and the generation that comes after mine is how I'll measure my accomplishments," Cooper told The Hollywood Reporter of his plans for his time at the company.

Cooper landing a prominent role at Playboy had been in the works for a while. As noted in the Wall Street Journal in 2014, Cooper was positioned to take over the company after his father. "I admire my dad and everything that he stood for in the '60s and '70s and still stands for, so it's an honor, to say the least, to carry on the family legacy," Cooper said at the time. Cooper didn't stay at Playboy forever, though. In the year following his father's death, Cooper left Playboy to start his own media company called the Hefner Media Corporation. The Playboy brand no longer has any formal affiliation with the Hefner family.

He had a career in the Air Force

Cooper Hefner didn't see his plans to start a media company all the way through. In 2019, shortly after announcing his new brand, Hefner shared on Instagram, "Today I informed leadership and financiers of Hefner Media Corporation I would be stepping back from focusing on launching a new company and stepping towards greater service to community and country. In a week I depart for US Air Force basic training. A new road ahead.‬" Just before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hefner graduated from basic training and officially became a member of the United States Air Force.

Hefner's commitment to serving his community didn't stop with his involvement in the military. Later in 2020, Hefner launched a campaign for the California State Senate. "I am deeply concerned about my community and our government and believe that right now it's essential for new individuals to step forward and propose new ideas. I would not be on this road if I did not feel strongly that there was an opportunity to win and as a result, make a difference," Hefner told CNN when he began his bid. Hefner's time as an aspiring politician didn't last long. Just four months later, the former Playboy executive halted his campaign, promising to serve the community in another way.

Cooper Hefner has a wife and kids

Cooper Hefner is a dedicated husband and father. In 2019, he married his longtime girlfriend, Scarlett Hefner (née Byrne), and in 2020, Scarlett delivered the couple's first child together, a daughter named Betsy. In 2022, the couple welcomed a set of twins to their family, Marigold and Blossom. "How blessed we are to be gifted with their life. How lucky we are to be given this love," Cooper said on Instagram after sharing the news.

Cooper's children are going to live a much different life than he did. His kids won't have the unique experience of growing up with a father who's also one of the most famous men in the world, nor will they spend their early years at the Playboy Mansion. Cooper has, however, shared that despite living at the iconic residence, his childhood wasn't full of parties and debauchery as one might expect. "[The Playboy Mansion] really acted as a pretty traditional home — even though it's not a traditional home — for me and my brother, especially when our parents were together," Cooper told Business Insider while hosting a tour of the Playboy Mansion. As a child, Cooper did try to get a glimpse of all the action, though. "Like any other 13, 14, 15-year-old, if you're upstairs and your parents are having a Christmas party, you're gonna sneak downstairs and try and figure out what's going on and why you're not invited to the party," he said.

He defended his father in the wake of controversy

It's no secret that the late Hugh Hefner lived a nontraditional life. The media mogul was known for having multiple girlfriends at the same time, hosting scandalous parties, and making the women who lived at the Playboy Mansion follow bizarre rules. Many of the women who spent time with the Playboy founder — including some of Hugh Hefner's exes — have since come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct and other unsettling claims, many of which were detailed in the A&E series "Secrets of Playboy."

Ahead of the show's premiere, some came to Hugh's defense, including his son Cooper Hefner. "Some may not approve of the life my Dad chose, but my father was not a liar. However unconventional, he was sincere in his approach and lived honestly. He was generous in nature and cared deeply for people. These salacious stories are a case study of regret becoming revenge," Cooper said on X, formerly known Twitter, of the claims.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).