Memories

Porn Star Ron Jeremy: I First Met Hugh Hefner in the Playboy Mansion Hot Tub

‘It was very funny because I was flirting with his girl, he was flirting with my girl,’ porn star Ron Jeremy recalls of the late Hefner.

Late Wednesday night, adult-film legend Ron Jeremy recalled fondly the first time he met Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who passed away last evening at 91.

It was at one of Hefner’s infamous boobs and babes New Year’s Eve parties, this one in 1978, when Jeremy joined Hef in the Playboy Mansion’s grotto hot tub.

“It was very funny because I was flirting with his girl, he was flirting with my girl a little bit, and then he took his girl, got out, and smiled back at me as he walked away from the Jacuzzi,” Jeremy, who has nearly 2,500 pornographic acting credits and 289 directing credits, told The Daily Beast.

Anthony Spinelli, a director from the “Golden Age of Porn,” was in the hot tub, too. Jeremy assumed a Hef-directed orgy would soon unfold.

“Anthony looked at me and said, ‘Hey, Ron, don’t get upset. There was no way he was going to take you into his bedroom,’” Jeremy said with a laugh.

He would go on to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Playboy Mansion for the next 22 years. Jeremy claims he was once tasked with compiling the guest list.

“Hef put me and [Screw magazine publisher] Al Goldstein in charge,” said Jeremy. “He didn’t want the publishers or producers in the industry. He wanted the stars to come and enjoy themselves at the mansion. He wanted it to be kids, and I was excited to be part of it. The food was delicious, and the chefs were so classy back then. I remember the waiters handing out artichokes. I’d eat them all off my plate, then they’d come around again with more.”

Jeremy’s remembrances of Hef’s bizarro world included memories of his friendship with Coco, the spider monkey with the porno name who lived in the mansion’s zoo.

“The playmates looked after Coco and whenever I came to the mansion she’d come over to me in her cage and dance while I played Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on the harmonica,” he said. “She’d lost her lover when she was 30 years old and was lonely, so I’d play for her.”

Despite the hardcore-softcore divide that separated Jeremy and Hefner—one the smoking-jacket-clad, free-speech raconteur, the other celebrated for his awkward body and oversize member—the two forged an unlikely bond. Jeremy and Playboy magazine both turned 50 years old in 2003.

“So they ran all these really wonderful and special pictures of me with Johnny Depp and all kinds of celebrities,” Jeremy said of his “Hedgehog at 50” Playboy feature. “There’s a picture of me walking through fire.”

As Jeremy wistfully remembered fire walks and Hef’s porno kingdom, the 64-year-old apologized. He had to go. He was needed on set.