Whilst the public perception of the Playboy Mansion may well be one of wild parties and risqué behaviour, one of Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriends has revealed the "loving and kind" late icon saved her from an eating disorder.

Speaking to TMZ in a candid video interview, Cristal Camden, 36, from San Jose, credits the late icon with curing her bulimia.

Cristal, who dated Hef for around a year after they met in 2003, revealed that the Playboy icon, who died last week, helped her seek help for her illness and encouraged her to seek treatment, according to Daily Mail.

Cristal maintains that she wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for Hef - and she's had her eating disorder under control ever since his intervention.

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The former Playmate explains in the home video that she developed bulimia at 16 as a "coping mechanism" and still suffered when she moved to Los Angeles and became one of Hef's girlfriends.

Even after she and Hef parted ways and she moved into the Playmate house across the road, she said he still tried to help her. She explains how he pulled her aside and told her he didn't want her to suffer and wanted her to be happy and healthy and around for a long time.

"He wanted me to have a long life and said he wanted that for selfish reasons because he wanted me there," she said.

Cristal (right) maintains that she wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for Hef (centre). Photo / Getty Images
Cristal (right) maintains that she wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for Hef (centre). Photo / Getty Images

He asked if he could help her and sent her for treatment for eight months.

She concluded: "If Hef hadn't pushed me and really been supportive and motivated me with those loving, kind words that motivated me to go for treatment, I think I would still be suffering, maybe not even here."

An Australian friend of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner this week gave a fascinating insight into what life at his famous mansion was really like before his death.

Speaking to The Morning Show on Tuesday - after American mogul Hefner died of natural causes at the Playboy Mansion aged 91 - publicist Amanda Archer revealed what went on behind the doors of his home when she visited.

Amanda, who is a best friend of Hefner's wife Crystal and was a guest at their wedding in 2012, described the mansion as being a "very family orientated and warm" place to be in the last years of Hefner's life.

"We would do lots of things during the day cycling, day spas, go shopping, and then there would always be dinner each night at the mansion and movies and just a lot of time was spent there, that was where everyone congregated," she said.

The Illinois native was buried at the cemetery near UCLA where Marilyn Monroe and Farrah Fawcett rest. His four children, wife Crystal and several Playboy staffers also paid their respects at LA's Westwood Village Memorial Park.