Pamela Anderson claims working on Playboy had a "family" atmosphere.

The former model - who first posed for the adult publication at the age of 22 - insists she never felt exploited by the magazine's founder Hugh Hefner when she stripped for pictures and was always comfortable in his company.

She said: "It felt like a real family environment. Once I got to know Hugh Hefner I saw that he was, in fact, a real supporter of women. Playboy wasn't exploitative at all and it was my decision."

The 44-year-old star also revealed she was encouraged to flash her flesh by her mother who thought it would help make her more feminine after she was approached to pose while working as a waitress.

She explained to the Daily Star newspaper: "My mom was supportive - she told me to go for it. I was always a tomboy and she thought it would be good to look back on one day."

Despite her initial reservations, Pamela soon grew increasingly comfortable with her body.

She explained: "They started off just doing a little lingerie, a little slip up the shoulder, a little this, a little that, but pretty soon I was walking around completely naked and they had to stop me before I went outside."

Meanwhile, the former 'Baywatch' star is set to don the most expensive Lycra swimsuits in history when she takes to the London stage as the Genie of the Lamp in Aladdin.

The swimwear and capes were encrusted with 20,000 Swarovski crystals and cost an incredible £5,000 each.

Speaking of her revealing costumes, Pamela said: "My costume is so fun. It is a little burlesque which I like. The entrance is fun, grand, and dangerous - just how I like it."