Playboy Mansion at center of sexual assault claim

LOS ANGELES Thu Aug 9, 2007 6:14am EDT

A peacock walks on the grounds of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles February 22, 2006. The Los Angeles Police Dept. said on Wednesday it was investigating an allegation of sexual assault at the Playboy Mansion, the famed site of unabashed hedonism for more than 30 years. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

A peacock walks on the grounds of the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles February 22, 2006. The Los Angeles Police Dept. said on Wednesday it was investigating an allegation of sexual assault at the Playboy Mansion, the famed site of unabashed hedonism for more than 30 years.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Police Dept. said on Wednesday it was investigating an allegation of sexual assault at the Playboy Mansion, the famed site of unabashed hedonism for more than 30 years.

News reports said the alleged incident took place at the weekend during a pajama party hosted by Playboy magazine's 81-year-old founder, Hugh Hefner, who has lived and worked at the expansive property since 1971.

According to Playboy.com, the annual Midsummer Night's Dream bash was attended by the likes of socialites Paris and Nicky Hilton, movie director Garry Marshall, rock star Dave Navarro and Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau.

An LAPD statement said detectives had started their investigation into "a possible sexual assault" on Monday.

"For reasons of law and confidentiality that are critical aspects in investigations of this type, no additional information will be released at this time," the statement said.

A spokesman for Playboy Enterprises Inc., the adult-entertainment firm that owns the mansion and published the flagship magazine, also declined comment.

The mock-Tudor mansion sits on a lush six-acre (2.4-hectare) lot that Hefner bought for $1.05 million according to Playboy.com.

Located in the chic suburb of Holmby Hills, the estate has hosted thousands of parties over the years, drawing guests who luxuriate in the freewheeling atmosphere. These days, it is often rented out as a corporate entertainment venue.

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