Bettie Page: last years and Hugh Hefner

[Continued from Bettie Page’s Mental Breakdown ]

bettie-page-corsetThe notorious Bettie Page, found herself released from a mental institution years after stabbing her landlord multiple times in a schizophrenic episode. When she was released, she found herself completely broke and destitute.  It was around this time that she was contacted by the President of the Bettie Scouts of America who had been searching for her — informed her that she was loved and adored by millions. She had no idea.

Steven, president of the Bettie Page fan club took her to a book store and showed her an entire end cap filled with Bettie Page items, books, statues, lighters and other paraphernalia. He told her that surely her fans would help her out if she just asked. Steven even arranged for her to meet with Hugh Hefner. So in 1993 she went to the Playboy mansion (where Hef had banned cameras because Hef is the most gracious man that ever walked the planet and knew Bettie didn’t want to be photographed). Hugh talked to her and found out that she was broke but also not receiving any compensation for any of the items being sold with her image. He arranged for legal representation for her and put her in contact with more appropriate

business partners so that she had “the right kind of representation andbettie-page-hanging someone to look after her and take care of her… and we’ve been very close ever since.” (that’s a direct quote from Hef because he is the best! God I love that man. I didn’t know that he helped Bettie out like this but of course, he did! He’s my hero for a reason. Thank you Hef, thank you for helping out Bettie Page in her time of need.)

bettie-page-gaggingThanks to Hef, Bettie made far far more money in the later years of her life than she made the whole rest of her life. Her agent saw to it that merchandise bearing her likeness paid her a royalty and she had approval of the products that could bear her likeness.

Meanwhile, Victoria secret designers credit Bettie Page with inspiring recent lines of the Victoria Secret’s lingerie. And 20-year-old girls have Bettie Page tattoos. As Hef says, “Bettie Page saw sex as a normal, healthy part of life. And she helped to change the values of our times.”

 

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Bettie Page near the end of her life