Crystal Wasn’t By Hef’s Side When He Died
When she and Hef finally did marry on New Year’s Eve 2012, Crystal wore pink, writing, “I told myself that when I got married for real someday, I would wear a white dress.”
Playing Hef’s wife was still a job, she confesses, “but it felt like a promotion.” Still, it was work. In addition to kicking off a DJ and real estate career, growing her social media platform and studying crypto currency, Crystal found herself adopting the role of caretaker.
“I was there at his elbow holding his arm to support him so when we were out in public, nobody would know he was starting to get frail or confused,” she writes. “I wasn’t going to let him down.”
Though she faced her own health battles—Lyme disease, breast implant illness and toxic mold exposure—she became “hyper-vigilant about protecting his image.”
When she returned from a week away in late 2017, Crystal learned that Hef had developed a UTI with “a strain of E. coli that was considered a ‘super bug.'” Though they turned his bedroom into a makeshift hospital room complete with the necessary antibiotics, he began to slip in and out of consciousness.
While out in the hallway debating the next steps, recalls Crystal, “one of the nurses came out of the bedroom and said simply, quietly, ‘He’s gone.'”