LOS ANGELES – In a Christmas message on Twitter, 84-year-old Playboy tycoon Hugh Hefner said Sunday he had proposed to girlfriend Crystal Harris, a former Playmate of the Month 60 years his junior.
“When I gave Crystal the ring, she burst into tears. This is the happiest Christmas weekend in memory,” Hefner tweeted.
Hefner sent a second message on Sunday to clear up any lingering doubts about his intentions.
“Yes, the ring I gave Crystal is an engagement ring. I didn’t mean to make a mystery out of it. A very merry Christmas to all,” it said.
Harris, a stunning 24-year-old blonde, did not explicitly confirm she had accepted his Christmas Eve proposal but, encouragingly, retweeted his messages.
If the nuptials transpire, Harris will become the third wife of an ageless lothario who has used a whiff of sex and his own suave mystique to create the world of the consummate Playboy over the past six decades.
Known for his his trademark red-satin smoking jacket and black silk pyjamas, “Hef,” as he is commonly known, incarnates the rakish lifestyle he popularized in another era.
Seemingly intent on passing on the message of upmarket hedonistic fun to a new generation, Hefner has outlived not just the sexual revolution he fought from the vanguard but also some of his famous pin-ups.
He boasts the outfits, the bevy of blonds, an open respect for the wonders of Viagra and, of course, the famed Playboy Mansion, which has become headquarters to an anachronistic holdout from the swinging 1960s.
The father of four takes much responsibility for sparking the sexual revolution that allowed Western society to embrace sex as normal and fun while shrugging off the prudish shackles of the 1950s.
The Chicago-born Hefner set up Playboy magazine in 1953 and remains its chief creative officer. Harris appeared as the centerfold in the December 2009 edition when she was Playmate of the Month.
While well past retirement age, Hefner still takes an active role in running the magazine editorially, choosing the covers, Playmates and cartoons each month, while daughter Christie handles the business empire.
Hefner has over the years admitted affairs with dozens of Playmates and enjoyed the company of endless blondes at his sprawling, decadent mansion in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles.
Hefner and Harris have reportedly been an item since April.
The Playboy founder first married at 23 to Mildred Williams, a fellow student at Northwestern University in Illinois, where he briefly studied women and gender issues.
Hefner’s second wife was Playmate of the Year Kimberley Conrad. He has two children from each marriage.