updated 12/16/2011 AT 5:50 PM ET
•originally published 12/19/2011 AT 6:30 PM ET
Hugh Hefner believes Lindsay Lohan’s Marilyn Monroe-themed Playboy pictorial will be a keepsake – but the media mogul admits he initially had doubts about featuring the embattled actress on its cover.
“The concept came from my editors,” Hefner, 85, told PEOPLE during a recent interview at the Playboy Mansion in L.A.
“I had mixed emotions to begin with,” he said. “I could not have anticipated, quite frankly, that it would turn out to be such a sensational newsworthy event, or that the pictorial would turn out so well.”