The death of an icon is always difficult to comprehend; even more so when that icon is a controversial figure. That’s the reality most of America faced this morning when they learned of the death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Fans considered him a visionary and advocate of free speech. Critics called him a smut peddler. Whatever your view, there’s no denying the lasting impact he and his Playboy brand created in popular culture.

Jaime Edmondson was a former Playboy Playmate. She appeared in the magazine as Miss January 2010. It was also around that time that she became friends with Playboy Radio personality Kevin Klein, now the host of Kevin Klein Live mornings on Live 105. Jaime called the show today to look back at Hugh Hefner’s influence on her own life.

“I really have such an important place in my heart for him,” she said while choking back tears. “He was one of the most witty, intelligent, charming, fascinating people I’ve ever been in a room with.”

Though she’s moved on to bigger and better things since her Playboy days – Jaime is married to baseball star Evan Longoria and has appeared on two seasons of The Amazing Race – the model will always remember the kindness shown to her by Hefner.

“He always made me feel like there was a sense of home there with him.”

Hefner will be buried in Los Angeles, next to the grave of former Playboy cover girl, Marilyn Monroe. Hear more of Jaime Edmondson’s thoughts on Hefner by listening to the audio below.

 

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