Kendra Wilkinson's Most Dramatic Moments, from Rock Bottom to Kendra on Top
From being a Bunny to having buns in the oven – all the reality star's most memorable moments
Kendra Wilkinson has lived in the Playboy Mansion, gotten hitched to a pro football player, starred in a handful of reality shows, welcomed two kids and made it through the other side of a sordid cheating scandal – and that’s all just in her first 30 years.
Before the latest season of Kendra on Top begins on Friday night, we look back at her brashest, Splash-iest moments on camera and off.
Wilkinson was born and raised in San Diego, California. The star was brought up by her mother, a former Eagles cheerleader, and her grandmother.
Although Wilkinson was heavily involved in sports as a teen, she developed a drug addiction by the age of 15. “I was doing it for attention, I needed that attention,” she later said.
Welcome to the Playboy Mansion
Following her high school graduation, Wilkinson was invited to be a “painted lady” at Hugh Hefner‘s birthday party. It was there that the part-time model met the Playboy CEO and was asked to be one of his girlfriends.
The Girls Next Door
Wilkinson joined Bridget Marquardt and Holly Madison as Hefner’s third girlfriend. The trio were soon brought into the mainstream after the debut of the E! reality show The Girls Next Door, which invited viewers to witness life in the Playboy Mansion.
Known as the sportiest of Hef’s Girls, Kendra began dating football player Hank Baskett while still a playmate at the Playboy Mansion. In her blog, Wilkinson wrote of the time she knew her relationship with Baskett, now 32, was for real: “We were sitting out on the [hotel] balcony and out of nowhere he just looked at me and told me he loved me. I was speechless!”
Wilkinson and Baskett exchanged vows in a lavish ceremony in 2009, set at (where else?) the Playboy Mansion. The star’s sole concern? “Tripping down the aisle,” she told PEOPLE. The big day was documented on the star’s eponymous reality show on E!
What comes after marriage? The newlyweds welcomed their first child together, a baby boy named Hank Randall Baskett IV, in 2009. “Hank’s dad and his grandfather were both named Hank, so it was very important to us to carry on the family tradition,” Wilkinson said.
Dancing to the Beat of Her Own Drum
The year 2011 proved to be a busy one for Wilkinson, who not only penned a memoir but also became a contestant on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars. The former Playmate spoke with PEOPLE about her experience on the show, comparing dance rehearsals to sex.
Who’s the Boss Now?
Following the success of her first reality show, Kendra, Wilkinson struck gold again with the 2012 premiere of Kendra on Top, which followed the blossoming family.
Kendra Makes a Splash
Wilkinson starred in the short-lived reality show Splash, which paired celebrities with Olympian diver Greg Louganis for a crash course on diving. The star faced her fear of heights head on in the second episode, citing son Hank as the reason for going through with the 3-meter dive. “I heard that ‘I love you’ from my son before I went in, and it was the most powerful moment of my life,” she said.
And Baby Makes Four
Shortly after appearing on Splash, the reality star discovered she was expecting her second child, a daughter she would name Alijah. “Honestly, Alijah is the easiest baby,” she said. “She’s such a happy baby.”
Rumors surfaced in 2014 that Baskett had cheated on Wilkinson with a transgender prostitute – during Wilkinson’s second pregnancy.
A Fractured Family
As Wilkinson dealt with a broken home of her own, she faced ups and downs in her relationship with her parents. While Wilkinson unexpectedly admitted that her husband’s infidelity pushed her to reconnect with her long-estranged father, she would eventually accuse her mother Patti of “sell[ing] my tears to the tabloids.”
Repairing a Marriage
In an effort to mend their marriage, Wilkinson and Baskett signed up for Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, which the reality star credits for saving their relationship. “We’re in an amazing place. Every day is work,” she told PEOPLE. “We’re working on it every single day, and we’re both willing to put in the work.”
RELATED VIDEO: Kendra and Hank Confront Another Set of Cheating Rumors
Feuding With Holly
As Wilkinson and former playmate, Holly Madison, went on to live their separate lives after the Playboy Mansion, their past continued to sneak it’s way in – eventually turning the two against each other.
“I was trying to sell this image of ‘Oh everything is so great here,’ but I was miserable inside,” she said. “There was so much competition among the other women. I learned not to confide in certain people. There was a lot of fear.”
Wilkinson was quick to respond to Madison’s allegations.
“She’s scared, because there are so many things in that book that are so fake and false, she just doesn’t want to get called out for it,” Wilkinson told PEOPLE Now of Madison. “It’s unbelievable to me.”
She added, “This is self-reflection of herself. I swear to God, she painted the guest house because she thought it was hers, she clearly said: ‘This my house, I’m getting married to Hugh Hefner and I’m going to have kids.’ And Hef didn’t want that.
“Next thing you know, eight years later she’s writing a book ’cause she’s pissed,” Wilkinson said of Madison’s memoir, Down The Rabbit Hole.
During this season of Kendra On Top, Wilkinson questioned whether or not they should “hear each other out.” Madison didn’t seem fond of the idea.
“I don’t think there would be anything positive about us meeting up,” she told PEOPLE. “It’s not a real friendship and it’s not part of my life anymore.”
Siblings ReunitedAfter being estranged from her brother, Colin, for two years, Wilkinson decided to put all difference aside, in honor of their beloved grandmother who passed away suddenly.
“I haven’t talked to my brother through these last two years,” Kendra said in an on-camera interview, “so it really sucks that I had to see my brother these last couple days when my grandmother was in the hospital. I do wish that me and my brother had a reunion under better circumstances.”
She added, “I must say that everything that me and my brother have gone through went out the window. He really stepped up and he really became a true man. He just really put his feelings aside and knew what my grandma would want that really meant a lot to me.”