Holly Madison (born December 23, 1979) is a model, showgirl, television personality, and New York Times best-selling author. Madison is most widely recognized for her role in the E! hit reality television show, The Girls Next Door and for her own series, Holly's World. In July 2015, Madison released her first book and memoir, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny. In May 2016, she released her second book, The Vegas Diaries: Romance, Rolling the Dice, and the Road to Reinvention detailing her career and dating life in Las Vegas.
Holly Madison was born in Astoria, Oregon. At age 2, she lived with her family in Craig, Alaska, on Prince of Wales Island. When she was in middle school, her family returned to St. Helens, Oregon. She later attended Portland State University for two years, majoring in theater and psychology. Afterward, Madison moved to Los Angeles and attended Loyola Marymount University.
To afford her college tuition, Holly competed to become a Hawaiian Tropic model and worked as a waitress at Hooters. Her appearance at these venues led to invitations to the Playboy Mansion and at the age of 21, after more than a year of such visits, Madison asked to move in.
The show starring Holly and her two co-stars' life at the Playboy Mansion was an instant hit for E! Network. Although not a Playboy Playmate, the initial success of the show was so great that Playboy published a nude pictorial of Madison, with her Girls Next Door costars in the November 2005 issue. The women were featured again on the covers of the September 2006, March 2008, and February 2009 issues.
In the Season 3 episode "Girls Next Door," Madison stated that she wanted to have a career producing Playboy spreads. During seasons three and four, Madison was shown working at the Playboy studios as an intern and later a junior photo editor. She also helped design and put together The Girls Next Door 2007, 2008, and 2009 calendars.
In February 2009, with the ending of the sixth season she quit working for the company altogether due to the split from Hefner making her position "awkward."
Madison was chosen to replace Jewel on Dancing with the Stars, and was partnered with Dmitry Chaplin. On March 26, 2009, Robin Leach reported that Madison, too, had been injured while practicing, that she had been seen by a doctor and had received a prescription to treat severe rib pain. Said Madison, "I am committed to the show and my partner Dmitry. I will rest when it's possible. I fully hope and expect to dance on Monday." On the March 31, 2009 double elimination show, Holly and Dmitry were voted off.
In May 2009, Madison and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman led a Guinness World Record-breaking "largest bikini parade ever." According to the Las Vegas Sun, "The politician and the former Playboy house bunny joined forces to usher in the city's summer swimsuit season..." in an event timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. The 281 parade participants broke the prior record of 250. The mark has subsequently been eclipsed by events in the Cayman Islands (331), and Brisbane, Australia (357)
Madison starred in the burlesque show Peepshow at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. She was brought in to replace Kelly Monaco after Monaco's three-month contract was up. Madison was likewise initially signed to a three-month contract, but due to the show's success, it was eventually extended to a full year. Holly starred as both "Bo Peep" and "Goldilocks" for nearly 4 years; however, in 2012, Holly left the show due to her pregnancy.
Madison starred in her own reality show, Holly's World, which revolved around her life at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. "It's all good-natured and not mean like other reality shows," Madison said of her show. "I'm really excited about the new series because I am also getting a legitimate co-producer credit for all the work I do behind the camera. It's not a vanity credit. I'm super excited to learn from the best and take on new responsibilities." The show premiered on December 6, 2009, and ran for 2 successful seasons.
In 2015, Holly released her memoir Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny (ISBN 978-0-06-237210-9). The book details her life in the Playboy Mansion and the beginning of her recovery afterward. The book debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, spending three weeks in the coveted spot and over three months on the list in 2015.
In May 2016, Holly released her second memoir The Vegas Diaries: Romance, Rolling the Dice and the Road to Reinvention (ISBN 978-0-06-245705-9) which debuted on The New York Times Bestseller list. The book chronicles her journey toward reinvention and self-acceptance in glamorous Las Vegas.
In August 2001, Holly moved into the Mansion and officially became one of Hefner's girlfriends. In February 2002, after all but two of his girlfriends left, Madison became his "#1 Girl." During her time with Hugh Hefner, Madison stated that she wanted to marry him and have his children. However, during an interview at the Playmate of the Year luncheon in May 2008, Hefner stated, "I love Holly very much and I think we're going to be together the rest of my life, but marriage isn't part of my puzzle. It's not a personal thing; I just haven't had much luck with marriages."
On October 7, 2008, Madison announced that her relationship with Hefner had ended, but that she, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson were "still filming stuff together." Hugh Hefner confirmed the breakup stating that, "If Holly says it's over, I guess it's over."
In 2009, Madison stated, "I'm never dating anybody again. I don't need a man. I'm really happy with myself and being with my friends... I'm focused on forwarding my career. I'm working on producing my own shows. Girls Next Door was a great place to start but it was somebody else's show. I'm just ready to move on."
Madison has spoken openly about her cosmetic surgeries, having had both a rhinoplasty and breast augmentation. After the latter procedure, her bust measurements went from an A-cup to a D. In 2011, Madison announced that she had insured her breasts for $1 million.
In August 2012, Madison announced that she and Pasquale Rotella, whom she began dating in 2011, were expecting their first child together. Madison gave birth to their daughter, Rainbow Aurora Rotella, on March 5, 2013 in Las Vegas. Madison and Rotella were married at Disneyland on September 10, 2013 (Bridget Marquardt was a bridesmaid) and reside in Las Vegas. In January 2016, Madison announced that she was expecting the couple's second child, due in August. Madison gave birth to their son, Forest Leonardo Antonio Rotella, on August 7, 2016.