PLAYBOY tycoon Hugh Hefner’s rise to become one of the world’s most famous men began with a heartbreak that tore his life apart.
The glamour magazine’s owner – who died today aged 91 – became known as a serial ladies’ man during a career that lasted 64 years.
But it was the betrayal a young Hefner suffered at the hands of his first wife that marked his formative years and one that he went on to describe as “the most devastating moment” of his life.
He married Mildred Williams in 1949 in the belief the pair had ‘saved themselves’ for one another.
The couple had met at college in the mid 40s.
Little did Chicago-born Hefner know that his beloved Milly had slept with another man while her beau served in the US military during the Second World War.
Explaining his heartbreak, he said: “I think the relationship was probably held together by two years of foreplay.
“That wasn’t unusual for our time. In fact, most of my immediate friends didn’t have sex until they married. Milly and I had it just before.
“I had literally saved myself for my wife, but after we had sex she told me that she’d had an affair. That was the most devastating moment in my life.
“My wife was more sexually experienced than I was. After that, I always felt in a sense that the other guy was in bed with us, too.”
Within four years of their marriage, Hefner had founded Playboy with a start-up loan of £6,000 – including £750 from his own mum.
But while the magazine would go from strength to strength after featuring a young Marilyn Monroe in its first issue, his relationship with Milly would not.
The pair divorced in 1959 after having two children – Christie and David.
He did not re-marry until he exchanged vows with Playmate Kimberley Conrad in 1989.
Hugh Hefner’s first wife CHEATED on him – a betrayal which gave birth to his Playboy lifestyle