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How Dubliner became Playboy mogul's right-hand woman

DUBLINER Lorna Donohoe has become Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner's right-hand woman -- but isn't shedding any clothes in her high-powered role.

The Clondalkin native is Playboy's Vice President for Global Retail Marketing and Merchandising, and has been steadily working her way up the career ladder.

In 1997, at the tender age of 21, Lorna arrived in New York with only $150 in her pocket.

"I started as an assistant and worked my way up really. It's funny because when people find out I work for Playboy they always ask what Hef is like. It seems to be the question everyone wants to know," she said.

And she describes the renowned ladies man as "incredible", even allowing her younger brother to celebrate his 21st with him.

"He's one of those people that make you feel like you're the only person in the room. He's a real gentleman, he's incredibly intelligent, and it always amazes me how he has his finger on the pulse of what's happening in pop culture," she added.

The family-oriented businesswoman's parents were initially reluctant about her new job post, as she began working for the magazine when Playboy was still banned in Ireland, but they eventually warmed to her daughter's role.

"My mam and stepdad were very conservative and religious before but now they realise that it's just a business. And needless to say, my brothers were thrilled," she said.

In spite of Lorna's close working relationship with Hefner, she said he has never tried to hit on her.

"He just really cares about women. He puts them on a pedestal and he really respects women's intelligence," she said.