Hugh Hefner went deaf from too much Viagra - and didn't regret it for a second, says former lover

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner diesGetty

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner had no qualms about sacrificing his hearing in order to maintain his sex life, former lover Karissa Shannon told The Sun in 2016.

The mogul, who is said to have bedded 2,000 women and famously still had several live-in girlfriends at the time of his death, credited Viagra for helping him satisfy his sexual appetite. The impotence drug has been linked in studies to sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL).

According to the 27-year-old glamour model − who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2012 alongside twin sister Kristina Shannon − one of the side effects of using the drug daily was that he was left completely deaf in one ear, and had to rely on hearing aids.

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"He said he would rather have sex than have his hearing. He has hearing aids now and even then he can only hear out of one ear," she told the publication at the time.

"You have to lean down and talk into his good ear for him to understand you.

"We could sit right next to him and he wouldn't have a clue what we said."

Karissa added that despite his health issues: "He said he would rather have sex than have his hearing."

Hefner's partner Crystal Harris first revealed that the hedonistic lifestyle had started to take a toll on his health in 2011 when she appeared on the Howard Stern Show following a split. She claimed that he was trying to scale back his Viagra use "because it makes him lose his hearing." The pair reconciled and eventually married in December 2012.

The interviews have resurfaced in the wake of Hefner's death. The Playboy founder died from natural causes on 27 September at the age of 91.

Hefner's son Cooper, the chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, led the tributes to his father, describing him "cultural pioneer" who changed the social perception of sexuality.

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"My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom. He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognisable and enduring in history," the 26-year-old said.

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