The move by Crystal Harris, who also released a song on iTunes this week, would seem part of a grab for publicity achieved without actually having to marry a man old enough to be her great-grandfather. Some might even say she used a man who made his fortune using women.
But we suspect Hefner, though said to be upset over the cancellation of his third walk – or shuffle, by this point – down the aisle, is getting the last laugh.
He also took to the Internet, via Twitter, to report spending his break-up day by playing dominoes with a bunch of playmates – and even joked he's planning to screen "Runaway Bride” Saturday, on what would have been his wedding day.
But perhaps his sweetest revenge is that he's reached the point – and we’ve sunk to the point – where an 85-year-old man's sex life is somehow big celebrity news.
Hefner, of course, is no ordinary octogenarian. His life, whatever you think of his porn empire, has been an exercise in successful timing. He started Playboy as the Sexual Revolution was brewing. Viagra arrived a dozen years ago to give him a boost that set the stage for the ongoing last act of his career. Hefner’s also ridden a six-decade publicity wave, spanning media from print to broadcast to the Web. He’s consistently grabbed notice as a figure of envy, derision – and now, in some quarters, sympathy.
Hef, whose late 1960s “Playboy After Dark” show aimed to make the viewer feel like part of the action, is made for the Reality TV era. His persona helped build a television home for the silliness of "The Girls Next Door." His place in the popular culture bodes to be further cemented in a more serious fashion with the upcoming NBC drama "The Playboy Club," set in 1960s Chicago at the height of his success and influence.
Harris, who was born in 1986, might want to watch the show. Her video is a mock commercial for a fictional product called the Playboy Age Gap Cheat Sheet App, which provides quick background on old-school references to the likes of "Casablanca," LBJ and Cary Grant.
"It's pronounced 'Word War Two' – not 'World War 'Eye-Eye!'" Harris informs us.
The video is clever, but Harris’ performance is, well, flat. Check out the short below. It may be the last we – or Hef – see of her:
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.