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Playboy pulls sponsorship of former Playmate

BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio -- Playboy magazine is severing its ties with Stacy Arthur, a former Playmate whose husband was shot to death in Bellefontaine by a man who spoke with her on a 900 telephone call-in service.

The magazine ended the association after Arthur appeared recently on two nationally televised shows to say she had been raped at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles by two security guards and a butler.

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'At this point, I doubt very much she'll be used for any more Playboy promotions,' Bill Farley, a spokesman for Playboy enterprises, told the Columbus Dispatch in its Saturday edition.

Playboy told Arthur, a former Miss Ohio, two weeks ago that she was not selected for the Playmate of the Year honor she wanted, Farley said.

Arthur, on one show, criticized Playboy for not discontinuing a 900 telephone line after her husband James was killed Oct. 28 by a California man who wanted to photograph Mrs. Arthur.

James Lindberg, 32, Woodland Calif., killed himself after shooting Arthur. He had gotten to know Mrs. Arthur through conversations on the 900 line, a $3-a-minute line for fans to talk with Playmates.

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'Stacy used to beg to be on the 900 lines,' Farley said.

Lauren Weis, a deputy Los Angeles district attorney, said in regard to the rape allegations that there were too many inconsistencies in Arthur's statements.

Weis said, however, there were no inconsistencies in statements given by the employees who claimed the sex was consensual.

Three employees were fired because they violated company policy by having sex during working hours, Playboy spokeswoman Cindy Rakowitz said.

She said Kimberly Hefner, the wife of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, insisted that Stacy go to the hospital, 'knowing full well this would include a police report.'

'It was Kimberly Hefner who insisted that Jim Arthur come to Los Angeles (after the alleged rape). Originally, he did not want to come,' she said.

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