Crystal Hefner, the widow of Hugh Hefner, has opened up about his death.
Crystal made her debut in Playboy at age 24 in 2009, according to People Magazine. She became engaged to Hugh a year later, and they were married on New Year's Eve 2012.
"I haven’t been able to bring myself to write most people back to thank them for their condolences," Crystal said. "I am heartbroken. I am still in disbelief. We laid him to rest [Sept. 30]. He is in the place he was always certain he wanted to spend eternity."
According to TMZ, Hefner died peacefully in his home in Los Angeles on Sept. 27. He was 91 years old.
"He was an American hero. A pioneer. A kind and humble soul who opened up his life and home to the world," Crystal added. "I felt how much he loved me. I loved him so much. I am so grateful. He gave me life. He gave me direction. He taught me kindness."
"I will feel eternally grateful to have been by his side, holding his hand, and telling him how much I love him," she continued. "He changed my life, he saved my life. He made me feel loved every single day. He was a beacon to the world, a force unlike anything else. There never has and never will be another Hugh M. Hefner."
In 2011, Hefner commented on his relationship with Crystal, addressing their 60-year age difference.
"Despite the age disparity, the truth of the matter is we have a great deal in common, we really complement one another, we have a wonderful time together, and I love her,” he said.
Crystal was Hugh's third wife. He was married to Millie Williams, his college sweetheart, from 1949 to 1959 and to Playboy model Kimberley Conrad from 1989 to 2010. They separated after nine years of marriage, but their divorce was not finalized until 2010.
Following Hugh's death, TMZ reported that Crystal was left with $5 million as part of a prenuptial agreement that she and Hugh signed before their 2012 wedding. She also controls the trust in which a 5,900-square-foot home in Hollywood Hills is held.
"I join the world in mourning," she said. "I thank you for all of your condolences. To the people leaving sentiments at the front gate, we see you and grieve with you."