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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Kristine Lefebvre from The Apprentice Does PLAYBOY

Kristine Lefebvre isn't your typical Playboy model.

Kristine Lefebvre - You know her from last season's The Apprentice Los Angeles. This leggy, drop-dead gorgeous 38-year-old is a high-powered Hollywood attorney. She grew up an army brat-her dad was a colonel!-and she has been married for more than seven years to celebrity chef Ludovic Lefebvre.

So, why did she agree to strip down and bare everything for the June cover of Hugh Hefner's legendary men's magazine?

One word: Cancer.

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Now, I am not the kind of gal to be flipping through Playboy (that certainly doesn't come as a surprise to my friends, family and anyone who reads my column!), but Kristine's story got my attention. I think I am one of the few who can honestly say I read Playboy for the articles.

Kristine is a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer after two years of infertility treatments resulted in two miscarriages. She underwent a radical hysterectomy about a year and a half ago.

"I ended up switching oncologists, because my first oncologist refused to let me harvest eggs before my surgery," Kristine told me yesterday. "So, I found a woman who understood my needs and said, 'Yes, it's a risk, but it's a well-considered risk, and if I were you, I'd absolutely do it.' So, we have 10 frozen little babies."

Kristine's journey continued even during the Playboy shoot. "There was a while when I was like, Am I even a woman any more?" she says. "Can I please my husband? Will my husband want to be married to someone like me, because I can't bear his children?"

It was during the shoot that Kristine decided to share her story. "I want people who have gone through what I've gone through to realize they're still a whole person," Kristine says. "I hope there's one woman out there who has had breast cancer and is willing to go back into her lingerie drawer and pull out that lace bra-not to make her husband or her boyfriend feel good but to make herself feel good."

While Kristine has negotiated Playboy deals for clients like Pamela Anderson and Deborah Gibson, it was a call from Hefner that finally convinced her to pose. "Hef called me personally at my office," Kristine remembers. "And I was like, All right, damn! These people know how to negotiate. He just said, 'You know, I understand we've been in discussions for you to appear in the magazine, and I really hope that we can work this out, because I would love to have you in the magazine.' I thought his assistant was going to be on the phone, but it was actually him on the phone and him telling me he hopes we can make a deal because he wants me in the magazine."

Kristine's hysterectomy scars are not visible in her Playboy photos. "They did not leave the scars in," she says. "You know, I had no problem leaving them in, but I understand that my personal soapbox is not what's going to sell magazines. Men want to see a body. They don't want to see a scar from hip to hip."

To see all of Kristine, pick up the June issue, which hits stands tomorrow.

Now cancer free, Kristine and her husband are looking to start a family. She says, "I will be using some of my Playboy money to get a surrogate so we can have our little frozen babies turn into the real thing."

Kristine's parents have no problem with her Playboy gig. Her mom, after all, is more hippie than army wife. "She picked up my younger brother from first grade in a crocheted bikini and blond hair down to her ass-in a private school on a military base in Hawaii," Kristine recalls. "You're embarrassed as a kid, but now I look at it and I'm like, 'Good for her!' "

Kristine's parents are also used to their daughter's less than conventional ways of doing things. "When I met my husband, I called my dad and said we were getting married, and I'd only known the man for about two weeks," she says. "We've been married seven and a half years now. So, I might make decisions that some people think are rash, but I've never made a decision that I regret in life."

So, what does Donald Trump have to say? "The man was obsessed with my body during the show," Kristine says. "Literally obsessed, because the second task was the swimsuit one, and I was the one on our team who modeled the suit. After the runway show, he came in the back and said, 'Oh, my God! Who would have known that body was under there? You should be a model.' "

During another Apprentice task, Kristine had to play some golf. "Mr. Trump introduced me to Mark King, who is the president of TaylorMade Golf, and Mark was commenting on my swing, and Mr. Trump said, 'Well, you should see the body under those clothes,'' Kristine recalls. "I was, like, 'Mr. Trump! Do you want a smart person working for you, or do you just want eye candy? Let me know, because I need to adjust my focus in this game.' "

Kristine's work on The Apprentice began just six months after her hysterectomy and six weeks after a failed adoption. "I went through the craziest path to sort of heal from this process-The Apprentice and then Playboy," she says. "It's not your normal course of therapy, but it ended up working."

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