What Hugh Hefner's widow is doing now

When Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner died at the age of 91, he left behind his wife, former Playboy playmate Crystal Harris, and his four children from two previous marriages. Hefner and Harris had only been married just shy of five years when the American magazine publisher passed away. Because of the couple's 60-year age gap, many were perplexed by their relationship while Hefner was alive — and even now, years after his death.

Regardless of how people may have felt about her and Hefner's unconventional relationship, Harris has maintained that she was in it for love. "I felt how much he loved me. I loved him so much," she revealed to People shortly after her husband's passing. She continued, saying, "I will feel eternally grateful to have been by his side, holding his hand, and telling him how much I love him." But, what about now? Here's a look into Harris' life these days.

Harris was "in disbelief" after Hefner's death

The week following her husband's death, Harris provided an update exclusively to People. "I haven't been able to bring myself to write most people back to thank them for their condolences," then 31-year-old Harris explained, before revealing that Hefner was laid to rest the weekend prior. "I am heartbroken. I am still in disbelief," she continued.

Harris went on to describe her late husband as "an American hero" as well as a "pioneer." Whereas many may have viewed Hefner in a certain kind of way because of his salacious lifestyle, Harris certainly saw him differently. She revealed to the publication that her late husband was a "kind and humble soul who opened up his life and home to the world." Harris thanked Hefner's fans for their condolences and support and admitted that she was joining the world in mourning the loss of the iconic Playboy founder. 

She mourned in Africa

About a year after Hefner's death, Harris sat down with Fox News and revealed that she was "doing [okay]" since losing her husband. But that's not to say it was easy for her to get to that place. "The first few months were really hard for me. I didn't really go anywhere," she admitted. After staying put for some time, Harris decided to get moving again. She first went to Africa and then admitted that she'd "just been traveling" since — something she thoroughly enjoys.

Although she was happy to be able to travel, she admitted that she was still a bit lost in other areas of her life. "I'm still trying to navigate my path," she divulged. "I was living at the Playboy mansion for 10 years, and so much involved with Hef and his life so now I'm kind of trying to find my own path."

Did Harris inherit Hefner's fortune?

Obviously, traveling to different continents doesn't come cheap. But, Harris was able to take advantage of her late husband's fortune, right? In 2013, Us Weekly cited an anonymous source, claiming Harris had signed an "ironclad" prenuptial agreement before marrying Hefner. According to the source, Hefner's will had also not been updated to include Harris on his will. If the claims are true, then Harris wasn't exactly swimming in money — at least not her late husband's money.

As it turns out, even if Harris did inherit Hefner's wealth, his fortune may not have been worth as much as initially estimated. While it was reported that his net worth was upwards of $45 million at the time of his death, Fortune estimated a figure closer to $15 million — or even less. While that's not exactly chump change, there probably wouldn't be a whole lot of cash left for Harris after divvying up the sum between Hefner's four children.

Here's what she actually got

Harris may have, in fact, been excluded from her husband's will, but doesn't mean she was totally left in the cold after his death in 2017. Just a few days after the Playboy founder passed, TMZ obtained the deed to a home Hefner purchased back in 2013, which is located in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles, California. As it turned out, the deed was held in a trust controlled by Harris. That's right — Hefner made sure Harris would have a roof over her head with or without him. 

Harris herself later confirmed that she owned the property in an interview with Los Angeles Times and further revealed some details about the residence. According to Harris, the architecture of the home is "so different from the Playboy Mansion" — which had a literal zoo filled with birds and monkeys in the backyard, as well as its very own orchard.

She decided to sell the home

Hefner may have made sure Harris had a place to lay her head at night, but Harris decided to put the home on the market a few months after her husband's death. According to the property listing on Zillow, Harris originally put the house up for sale for a sizable $7.2 million. Unfortunately for Harris, it didn't sell.

Harris decided to put the property back on the market in March 2018 for a reduced price of $6.5 million and then again in September for $5.8 million. After dropping the price a few more times, Harris ended up relisting the property in January 2019 for $5 million — and finally, at the end of the month, it sold. Whoever now owns Hefner and Harris' former abode is going to be one happy camper. It offers views of the Sunset Strip and a kitchen that is all kinds of dreamy.

She's returning to a simpler way of life

After hearing news of Harris' decision to sell her home just a few months after Hefner's death, you could have made the assumption that she was in need of some fast cash. Harris instead said that, while she did like the home Hefner left her, she found the property too big once he'd passed away.

Living with the Playboy tycoon not only meant that she shared her life with her husband, but also all of the staff that came with him, including butlers, maids, and chefs. Now that Hefner is gone, so, too, are the catered meals and the incredibly opulent lifestyle she once enjoyed. But Harris doesn't mind. She told the Los Angeles Times in 2018 that she felt ready for a more independent lifestyle — complete with small things, like trips to farmers' markets, and big endeavors, like pursuing her own goals.

She's taken up lifestyle and travel blogging

In 2016, Harris shared a few snippets of her travels on her blog, crystalhefner.com. But, in fall 2016, Harris took a break from blogging and didn't return to her craft until after Hefner passed away. In January 2018, Harris shared some details about her trip to Africa, where she visited the home of Nelson Mandela, relaxed poolside, and met the chef at the hotel where she was staying. In addition to blogging about travel, Harris also shares some more personal information about her life.

In September of the same year, Harris detailed her personal experience with breast implant illness, which eventually led to a bilateral periprosthetic capsulectomy — a removal of the implants — in 2016. Harris also wrote about her battle with Lyme disease, which she contracted in 2015. Nine months after turning to stem cell treatment for the disease, Harris revealed that she feels "around 80% better." She continued, writing, "I have my good days and bad days but I hope that my story helps those of you looking for guidance and answers."

She went back to working in real estate

In an interview with NBC's Access in late 2018, Harris revealed that she's been enjoying getting into real estate. "I have about five properties now that I kind of buy and flip and rent — and it's a lot of fun," she said. "My mom's a broker and I had my real estate license when I was 18 so it's been kind of a fun hobby." At the time, she hadn't yet sold her Hollywood Hills home left to her by Hefner, but she revealed in the interview what she was "working on the sale." 

Harris went into more detail about her restarted career when speaking to the Los Angeles Times. "Over time, you get used to the market," Harris explained. "I know the areas where I can buy a house for $1.2 million, tear it down, build something better and sell it for $3 million." A worthwhile skill to have, for sure.

She helps run the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation

Harris certainly keeps busy by traveling and working in real estate, but she also plays a big part in keeping her late husband's memory alive through the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation. In fact, she became the foundation's vice president. "[It's] a way for me to really still feel very connected to him, so I'm really appreciative of being able to push his legacy forward," Hefner's widow revealed to Fox News.

As part of her work for her late husband's foundation, Harris coordinated with Julien's Auctions to auction off 800 items that once belonged to Hefner. Even the Playboy founder's iconic captain's hat and silk pajamas were included — the proceeds of which further benefitted the foundation. "We're really excited about it because this is what Hef wanted," she told the publication. "He wanted his memorabilia and everything to go to the foundation to raise money to preserve his legacy."

She's open to dating again

Widowed at just 31 years old, Crystal Harris has plenty of years to find love again — if that's what she so desires. In an interview with Access, the former Playboy playmate was asked if she'll ever date again. "I don't know, I don't know. I guess — yeah," she muttered in response. "Eventually," she confirmed.

When questioned if her type would be similar to her late husband, she joked, "I don't think there's any more 86-year-olds in silk pajamas, I don't know," she joked. Certainly no one quite like her late husband. Shortly after Hefner's death, Harris herself told People, "There never has and never will be another Hugh M. Hefner." She also called him "a force unlike anything else."

After joking with the hosts of Access, Harris contemplated their question and revealed in seriousness, "I'm not sure. I don't really have a type, so we'll see." And see we shall.