Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater Beach twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon reach Playmate of the Month status

Living at the legendary Playboy Mansion in California, becoming big-time models and being the girlfriends of Hugh Hefner has been a blast, even more so than Karissa and Kristina Shannon could have imagined.

Yet the 19-year-old twins admit they sometimes get a little homesick.

In particular, the onetime Clearwater residents miss Clearwater Beach, Ybor City's nightlife, their favorite radio station (WLLD-FM 98.7), their friends, and of course, their family.

"We try as much as we can to visit," Kristina Shannon said in a phone interview this week.

Every time they do, they're a little more famous.

A year ago, the striking sisters were WingHouse servers. Today, they're Playboy magazine's Playmates of the Month for the July/August 2009 double issue, currently on newsstands.

They'll be featured during the upcoming season of the E! hit The Girls Next Door, a reality show that will chronicle their lives with the man known worldwide simply as "Hef."

"I love Playboy," Karissa Shannon said. "I think Playboy's classy. Being in the same issue with Kristina is cool. It's a great experience for us."

Born in Ann Arbor, Mich., Karissa and Kristina moved to a home on Clearwater Beach when they were 1. As teens, they attended Largo High for a while but also were homeschooled.

The sisters worked at WingHouses in Largo and St. Petersburg, and enjoyed outdoor activities such as riding water scooters and parasailing.

The twins' odyssey into their new world started in August when they visited California for a photo shoot after being chosen as finalists for Playboy's 55th Playmate Search. During the trip, they caught Hefner's attention and began dating the 83-year-old shortly thereafter.

They moved into his mansion in October.

"He's fun," Kristina Shannon said. "He's nice, really laid-back. He's all about having fun. Everyone gets along with him. He's very, very smart."

Shortly after making the move, the sisters found themselves in the news again when TMZ.com reported that they had been charged with battery earlier in the year after a skirmish at a Clearwater party. Both pleaded no contest and received probation.

The sisters, who are difficult to tell apart (the only noticeable difference is a beauty mark on Karissa's neck), often dress alike. They wore matching tennis skirts and sailor caps for their 10-page pictorial, shot at the mansion.

"We loved to do our pictorial together because it's twice as hot," Kristina Shannon said, laughing.

The twins say their family and friends have been supportive. Their 13-year-old sister, Rebecca, looks up to them, their grandmother, Annette, was thrilled, and their father, Patrick, is a longtime Playboy fan.

The sisters are not the first Playmates with Tampa Bay roots (the exact number with local ties isn't known). In 2007, Spencer Scott, who was born in St. Petersburg, was a Playmate. Clearwater-born Raquel Gibson was a Playmate two years earlier.

The twins say they're enjoying life in Southern California, but they plan to visit home in August. And who knows, they just might convince their boyfriend to come along for the ride.

"We're trying," Kristina Shannon said.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kniebuhr@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4156.

Clearwater Beach twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon reach Playmate of the Month status 06/26/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 27, 2009 11:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle