After watching Hef's Runaway Bride, the show that detailed the wedding planning and cancellation between Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris, I actually have some more sympathy for Crystal.
When the news broke that Crystal Harris was calling off her wedding with Hugh Hefner, many people called foul. After all, the future Mrs. Crystal Hefner was launching a music career, and it seemed pretty convenient that her single broke on the same day that she broke up with Hef. There were also rumors that Crystal was secretly dating Jordan McGraw, who was working on her album with her.
However, after watching Hef's Runaway Bride on Lifetime, we realize there was more behind the split than we heard in the initial news reports. After all, the relationship would have been for the rest of Hugh Hefner's life, but where would that leave Crystal? Probably in her mid to late thirties taking care of the geriatric man and realizing she's about to miss out on her chance to have a normal relationship and kids.
- Crystal got to the mental state she was in when she met Hef through a series of tough events. Her grandparents died, her father died and her high school sweetheart died in Iraq. She was broken down and because of that, being with Hef at the mansion seemed like a good idea, even though she was very young and being in a relationship with an 80+ year old man wasn't really the best idea.
- Crystal did go to Hef before she ran away and told him that she didn't feel prepared to marry him. He agreed, as he wanted to get married because he thought Crystal wanted it. (Hef later admitted to Holly Madison and Kendra Wilkinson Baskett that his desire to marry Crystal was partially stemmed from the mistake he made with his relationship with Holly.)
- As Hef's wife, Crystal wouldn't have been able to pursue her music career at all. I highly doubt that she'll become a music star now that she's single, but as Hef's wife, she didn't stand a chance. Her role as his wife would have been to stay by Hef's side at home and during press events. As is evidenced from the show, being Hef's wife would have been Crystal's career. She'd have to portray a public image as Hef's wife, attend press events and more. She wouldn't have her own identity. Plus, to even enter the marriage, she had to sign a bunch of contracts and legal documents, proving that although this would have been a marriage, it would have been more of a full-time job.
- Crystal genuinely did not seem happy in the weeks leading up to the wedding. It was evident from her facial expressions and words that she was either freaking out or very unhappy. When asked about her wedding, she couldn't even answer questions without looking sad and defeated. She may have just been tired, but she genuinely looked unhappy and even a bit scared. Although it may just be creative camera editing, it looked like others around her understood her emotions as well.
- The marriage between Crystal and Hef would hardly be a real marriage. Hef would continue to have lots of women around. Essentially, nothing would change, except that Crystal would be bound to Hef via contract.
- Anna Berglund was, and is, a good friend to Crystal. She stuck up for her friend throughout the interviews on Hef's Runaway Bride, even noting that she wasn't told that Crystal wanted to leave the mansion. She even said that Crystal still calls her to ask how Hef is doing. Rumors came up that Anna is now dating Hef, but Crystal and Anna's mom are quick to say that these rumors are just to drum up publicity.
- Hef and Crystal are still friends, per the end scenes of Hef's Runaway Bride. And, during the show, there are a few times that Hef jokingly talks about the relationship ending (or not ending, technically). Plus, the 'Runaway Bride' sticker placed on Playboy magazines were created very quickly. This makes it seem that Hef and Crystal knew that the relationship was over and Crystal would be leaving before the public was let in on the secret. Plus, Hef (who looks like he's aged a lot since The Girls Next Door was on TV), didn't seem devastated in the least about the breakup. He even gave a speech joking about it as he showed The Runaway Bride movie on what would have been his wedding night.
- I am by no means saying that Crystal didn't make mistakes with the way the relationship dissolved, or by blurting out the comments that she made on The Howard Stern Show. (Hint: they're regarding their lack of a sex life.) Through that and other articles, the truth seems to be that Crystal and Hef used to have sex, but that part of the relationship mainly ended, and after that, they mostly cuddled.
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