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Playboy's Irish high-flier reveals Hef and fiancee 'like any couple'

THE Dublin woman behind Playboy's global success has given her blessing to Hugh Hefner's third marriage to 24-year-old Crystal Harris -- even though her boss will turn 85 this week.

Lorna Donohoe, from Clondalkin, can find no fault with the 60-year age gap between the billionaire and his love interest.

"Hef and Crystal have so much in common, they have a lot of fun together, they are both very interested in movies and pop culture. They are like any other couple," she says, adding: "I have no issue with the age gap."

Hefner and Harris, who got engaged last Christmas Eve, are hoping for a summer wedding on June 18 with "close friends and family" at the Playboy Mansion.

Ms Donohoe, who was recently promoted to senior vice-president of global retail marketing and merchandising at Playboy Enterprises, says: "I don't know yet if I'm invited, I think it's a small, private celebration. I am very happy for both of them.

"Hef is very involved with the editorial of the magazine, while I work more on the business side -- but I do see him on a regular basis."

The 40-year-old blonde arrived in New York 15 years ago with only $150 in her pocket. She worked her way up the corporate ladder and now heads Playboy's €160m-a-year marketing and merchandising enterprise.

From her $600,000 apartment in one of Manhattan's most affluent areas, she spends months each year travelling around the world to promote Playboy.

She says: "It's a dream job but I do work very hard at Playboy. Many people think it's all fun and glamour, which it is, but there is still a ton of hard work that goes on behind the scenes."

Ms Donohoe looks after the licensing line of the business, which is now the biggest revenue generator in the Playboy company.

She describes the corporation's business culture as "very progressive", with 40 per cent of the senior executives being female.

Womaniser Hugh Hefner, who is renowned for having multiple girlfriends at the same time, is described by the Dublin jet-setter as "amazing and incredibly smart, he can talk about any subject whatsoever.

"It blows my mind sometimes when you hear him talk about everything from politics to film. He is very kind and treats all his employees very well."

Ms Donohoe is quick to dismiss the charge that Playboy Enterprises is merely online pornography.

"I believe adults have the right to exercise their own judgement and preferences in what they read and what they look up online," she says.

"Playboy and the magazine are presented in a tasteful way that is positive and beautiful.

"We don't use under-age models, we don't condone any form of degrading behaviour, and it's all about consensual behaviour."

Sunday Independent