In the years after their wedding, the two retreated from the spotlight, settling into a quiet life at home.
"Crystal was his constant companion," a Playboy insider previously told PEOPLE. "She was extremely devoted to him."
After Hefner's death, Crystal told PEOPLE she was "heartbroken" and "in disbelief."
"He was an American hero. A pioneer. A kind and humble soul who opened up his life and home to the world," she said. "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."
"He changed my life, he saved my life," she added. "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."
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