The Wedding Day That Wasn't: Hugh Hefner and Crystal Harris' cancelled nuptuals

Today would have marked the start of marriage between Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner, 85, and 24-year-old Playmate Crystal Harris, his girlfriend since January 2009. The wedding was set to take place in front of 300 guests in the backyard of the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, California. The bride would have walked down the aisle in a pink Romona Cabeza ballgown and Aruna Seth ballet flats. The couple had even intended for the wedding to be part of a TV special.

But Harris took to her website on Tuesday morning to announce the end of her engagement to the octogenarian billionaire. "After much deep reflection and thought I have decided to end my relationship with Hef," she wrote. "I have the utmost respect for Hef and wish him the best going forward. I hope the media will give each of us the privacy we deserve during this difficult time."

But immediately after Hef confirmed the split on his Twitter page, saying, 'It's true, the wedding's off. Crystal has had a change of heart,' rumours sprang up that Harris was secretly dating Dr. Phil's younger son, Jordan, and others speculated that the split was planned from the start. So though Harris had said she hoped for privacy post-split, she instead defended her decision to various media outlets, including a morning-after-the-split interview on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM morning show in Los Angeles.

"I called it off because I didn't think it was the right thing to do," she told Seacrest by phone. "It was mutual between Hef and I. There was no fight. We sat down and we talked about it."

"Not seeing someone else," she added. "For a while I've been having second thoughts about everything. I haven't really been at peace with myself lately. I didn't think it was really fair to him. It was all happening too fast for me."

Resilient Hefner, who has four grown children from two previous marriages, will be fine, Harris said. "He was only getting married because he thought it was what I wanted. Hef's doing great. His lifestyle isn't the most normal lifestyle, multiple girls all around. It's not the lifestyle I wanted. I respect him more than anything, and we're still going to be really close."


PHOTO CREDIT: David Livingston/Getty