In the October 1987 edition of Penthouse Magazine Terri Lenee Peake appeared as the centerfold, culminating her lifelong dream of fame, elevating her star into the stratosphere in a world few of us know anything about. Her memoir, Dying To Be A Centerfold is a frank account of what her life was like from growing up an abused child to becoming the fiancée of a gangster. It is a compelling read told in her own words not as a commentary on the objectification of women but as a warning of all the pitfalls on the way to success in adult entertainment.
Currently, Terri lives in Hawaii where she is still recovering from the effects of her former life that robbed her of her health. After reading her book I decided I wanted to interview her and contacted her. She graciously consented to answering a few questions.
Q. It’s not an easy task to write a book, especially a memoir containing a lot of personal and painful details. When did you decide to write it? How long did it take you to write it? And what was the reason for writing it?
A. I have been wanting to write it for 20 years, it took approx. 9 months, I wanted to write it for several reasons, one of those reasons was to be able to share my experience with the implants, it took me 9 years and thousands of dollars trying to get to the bottom of why I was so sick. When I heard a story on the news about someone that was sick from her saline implants, she described everything that I had gone through. It was through my research that I was able to uncover a lot of formerly unknowns about the adverse effects of the implants. Also I wanted to talk to young women about the dangers of Hollywood and how you can get swept up in the alcohol, drugs and violence that goes along with it. I figured they might listen to a Penthouse Centerfold. I felt compelled to write my story.
Q. Your book starts off with some pretty dramatic revelations about your complicated relationship with Mac and your letter from Penthouse Magazine, leaving the surprises in the details. How did you arrive at this structure?
A. I mean it’s exactly as it happened one of the happiest days of my life took place in the driveway and it also turned out to be one of the worst experiences that being the murder of Mac.
Q. In the book you win $5,000 playing Keno in Vegas and use the money to go to Hawaii. Although you came back to the mainland several times afterwards, you always returned there. What is it about Hawaii that made you want to make it your home?
A. The only stability I have ever had in my life was with my ex husband Glen, even though the relationship became more of a friendship than a true love. When I was at my sickest and was planning my explant surgery I asked Glen to let the kids come so they wouldn’t be scared. I didn’t know how the surgery was going to turn out. I had lost everything due to my illness and no one was helping me. Glen simply said come home, to hear that I had a home and didn’t have to worry about rent or taking care of the children I felt blessed to have that offer.
Q. You’ve been a celebrity and experienced good times and bad throughout your life. If you could go back in time and change anything at all, what would it be and why?
A. I would change the alcohol and drugs, I spun out of control and right when I was at the top of my game I threw in the towel. If I had a clear head and didn’t choose to take drugs I wouldn’t have been so willing to be with the type of guys I chose, I chose to be around the drugs because I relied on them.
Q. You’ve started a second book. What will it be about?
A. It’s a secret, I don’t want to take the chance that someone else will do My 2nd Book, it will be another sobering cautionary tale.
I’d like to thank Terri for her candid answers and I hope this interview helps her get out the word about the dangers and long term health consequences of implant surgery.
If you’d like to read Dying To Be A Centerfold is it available on Amazon.
Terri Lenee Peake’s Facebook address is: