"It was essentially mama and the folks around her that kept pushing for less nudity," Hefner told E! News. "I said, 'We're doing a nude pictorial here. We're going to do it in a very classy way and we're going to do it in a way in which it will not be forgotten.'"
Hefner, who had the actress eventually reshoot her pictorial, says the concept came directly from him and his first Playmate.
"She had done semi-nudes before. I wanted to do something that would be memorable. So what is more natural, since she is a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe, than to do something that is a tribute to the red-velvet, Tom Kelley photo shot of Marilyn Monroe that was our very first Playmate?" he says.
Although Hefner said he initially had "mixed emotions" about the actress being their cover girl, he says the outcome — and the publicity surrounding it — has reached beyond his expectations.
"I think it was accomplished beyond anything I could have possibly imagined," he said."People will not forget this pictorial."
Watch Hefner's interview below: