Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner manages to be controversial even in death. It now re-emerges that he paid $75,000 in 1992 to purchase a crypt next to Marilyn Monroe’s so he can be buried beside the late actress – a move that has been met with heavy criticism given the pair’s history.
The actress died unexpectedly in 1962 at the age of 36 and is buried in California’s Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
She appeared on the cover of the first issue of Playboy Magazine in 1953, when she was given the title “Sweetheart of the Month”.
But despite appearances, this was not actually done with Monroe’s permission. Hefner had bought some old nude photographs of Monroe which had been taken in 1949 before she hit the big time, publishing them in his first issue without ever seeking her consent.
Fearing for her career, Monroe was forced to defend herself in an interview after the photographs became a scandal. “I never even received a thank-you from all those who made millions off a nude Marilyn photograph. I even had to buy a copy of the magazine to see myself in it,” she wrote in her autobiography.
The actress and pin-up icon never actually met Hefner – but he has made her a part of his own story.
“I’m a believer in things symbolic,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 2009. “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up.”
While some admire Hefner’s burial arrangements…
…others are finding it distinctly creepy.
Hefner’s critics – and Monroe’s fans – are unimpressed.
Hefner died on 28th September at the age of 91, surrounded by family in his Playboy Mansion.