Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is the man behind brining Playboy magazine to Australia.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is the man behind brining Playboy magazine to Australia. LUKAS COCH

How Turnbull brought Playboy to Australia

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed his role in bringing Playboy magazine to Australia in the wake of its founder Hugh Hefner's death.

Almost 40 years ago, as a young lawyer, Mr Turnbull was summoned by Australian magazine mogul Kerry Packer to negotiate a licencing deal to publish the iconic title down under.

The trip to the states occurred in 1978, and saw Mr Turnbull meet with Hefner's daughter Christie to negotiate the deal.

Mr Turnbull opened up about the three-week trip on Nine's Today.

"Kerry Packer sent me to Chicago in '78 to negotiate the licensing deal for Playboy in Australia," he said.

Kerry Packer with his lawyer Malcolm Turnbull, pictured in 1984.
Kerry Packer with his lawyer Malcolm Turnbull, pictured in 1984. Supplied

"In those days Hugh Hefner had already moved to LA and his daughter Christie was running the company.

"I negotiated with her in their office building in Chicago and was there for about three weeks and we got the deal done."

Despite his long stay in the US to negotiate the deal, Mr Turnbull never set foot in the Playboy Mansion.

Mr Turnbull said while it "would have been great" to visit Hefner's famous lair, he was "a very focused young lawyer, just doing my job".

He said he was often asked about the tale and "everyone wants to hear stories about the Playboy Mansion".

Dannii Minogue on cover of the highest selling issue of Australian Playboy magazine.
Dannii Minogue on cover of the highest selling issue of Australian Playboy magazine. News Corp Australia

Packer launched the Australian edition of Playboy in 1979. The publication featured content from the US title with some local additions, and crowned an Australian Playmate of the Year annually.

The Australian publishing mogul hired Mr Turnbull when he was 28 to take over his legal work. Prior to becoming a lawyer Mr Turnbull had worked as a journalist.

He went on to enjoy a successful legal career before establishing an investment banking firm and taking on a number of investments, and eventually became a full-time politician.

News Corp Australia

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