Karissa and Kristina Shannon, identical twins from Clearwater, Florida, were Playboy’s Miss July and Miss August 2009. “We feel as if we’re one,” said Kristina. “In each other we always have a best friend.”
The twins were finalists in the 55th Anniversary Playmate Search. Not only did Hugh Hefner approve their centerfold, he asked them both to be his girlfriends and offered them a suite in the Mansion. The two requested Hefner’s legendary circular bed from the Chicago Mansion for their room, and it was promptly delivered. “It’s huge and could fit 15 people on it,” said Karissa. “It still has Hef’s cool old-school phone.”
The Shannon twins’ first episode of The Girls Next Door was the most-watched season premiere in the show’s history. Karissa and Kristina fit right in at the Mansion, and on sunny days you’d see them on the courts trading serves in matching tennis whites or sunning in the nude by the pool while being served by the wait staff.
“We’re very close,” said Kristina. “I mean, we’re twins—we see each other every day.” That being said, the twins aren’t attached at the hip. “We have a lot of the same goals,” said Karissa. “We want to model, act, and sing—but we want to be identified as separate people.”
The girls moved out of the Mansion in 2010 to pursue other interests, but they remain close friends with their former boyfriend. “We have very fond memories of movie nights with Hef at the Mansion,” said Kristina. “We used to watch gangster movies, like Scarface and Goodfellas.”
Hefner showed them the ropes in Hollywood, and the twins have his blessing in all other relationships and business endeavors. Since leaving the Mansion, the Shannon twins have stayed in the public eye. In 2010 Karissa confirmed she had been involved in sex tapes with Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag. Karissa and Kristina played pole dancers in Sofia Coppola’s film Somewhere, which won top honors at the Venice Film Festival in 2010. In 2012 the twins competed on the ninth season of the British reality show Celebrity Big Brother. They came in fifth.