“It’s not easy to look back at my 20s. I’ve had to face my demons,” Kendra, 38, told People in an interview published on Wednesday, January 17, about how a panic attack left her hospitalized in September 2023. “Playboy really messed my whole life up,” she continued while revealing she was later placed on an antipsychotic medication.
Kendra said of her hospitalization, “I was in a state of panic. I didn’t know what was going on in my head and my body or why I was crying. I had hit rock bottom,” adding, “I was dying of depression. I was hitting the end of my life, and I went into psychosis. I felt like I wasn’t strong enough to live anymore.”
The Kendra on Top alum recalled how her trauma began when she moved into the Playboy mansion at 18 years old, after having “a lot of issues” as a teen. She became part of The Girls Next Door alongside fellow playmates Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt. Their realty show debuted on E! in 2005 and ran for six seasons, although Kendra departed the series when she married Hank Baskett in 2009.
“I really got into deep regret [afterwards]… deep. I struggled with depression before and at the mansion. I drank a lot. I was there for the partying, OK, let’s just be real. I was not there for Hugh Hefner to be my boyfriend,” the San Diego native confessed.
Kendra began to feel insecure the more she was sexualized. “I hated my boobs, my body, my face. I got to that point where I started hating myself,” she told the publication.
She now looks back and has huge questions about her past. “Why did I have sex with Hugh Hefner at that age? Why did I do that? Why did I go to the mansion in the first place? Why did I get big boobs? Why am I a sex symbol? Why did I bleach blonde my hair? Why did I do this to myself? Why did I?” Kendra wondered aloud.
Despite getting married and sharing two children with Hank, son Hank Jr., 14, and daughter Alijah Mary, 9, Kendra still had difficulties she faced, including the couple’s 2018 divorce and the cancellation of her WEtv reality show in 2017. “I felt like I had no future. I couldn’t see in front of my depression. I was giving up and I couldn’t find the light. I had no hope,” she said of her battle.
While Kendra said depression is “something that stays with you through life. You just have to learn to work with it and accept it,” she said that “therapy built this tool system for me. So now I have the strength — I have the strength and the foundation I need to overcome my depression.”
She also wants to make sure her daughter doesn’t make the same mistakes she did when she was younger. “As a mom I Iook back at what happened to where I felt like I had to date an older man at the age of 18. What brought me to that point? These are the things I’m trying to correct in my parenting for my daughter. What can I do to show her that she is more than that? And that’s what I am doing now in real estate. And that’s truly the gift I’m trying to give back to my children.”
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