'Playboy' founder dumped at the altar

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris. Reuters

Hefner, 85, and Crystal Harris were due to tie the knot in front of more than 300 guests at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles on Saturday. It would have been Hefner’s third marriage.

“The wedding is off. Crystal has had a change of heart,” Hefner wrote on Twitter.
“The breakup is a heart breaker, but better now than after the marriage,” he added later. He also denied a report on celebrity website TMZ.com that the couple had had “a nasty argument” on the phone.

Adding insult to injury, he said Harris took his favourite pet, a cocker spaniel named Charlie, when she moved out of the mansion.

On the other hand, Hefner said he has been consoled by his coterie of old pals and his former wife Kimberley Conrad, and announced he would be hosting a screening of Runaway Bride.

Hefner proposed to Harris on Christmas Eve, he announced on Twitter at the time. Since then Hefner has been planning the nuptials in between serving as hands-on editor of Playboy and entertaining family and friends at movie screenings and backgammon games.

A two-hour TV special featuring wedding highlights was due to air on July 13 on the women’s cable channel Lifetime.

Hefner and second wife Conrad, a former Playmate now 48, divorced in 2010 after a lengthy separation. His first marriage to Mildred Williams ended in divorce in 1959. He has two children from each marriage.

Hefner, known around the world by his nickname, Hef, has championed sexual freedom and civil rights, published stories challenging McCarthyism and the Vietnam War, and backed gay causes and the legalisation of marijuana.

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