Dramatic video of EMTs struggling to save the life of former Playmate Anna Nicole Smith surfaced Friday on the Web, hours after the paparazzi outlet Splash News & Picture Agency reported that rights to the graphic video sold for more than $500,000.
The video shows paramedics working on the unresponsive reality star as she was wheeled from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Splash News screened the videotape to potential media buyers at their Los Angeles headquarters just hours after Smith's death Thursday afternoon.
The video, however, turned up Friday morning on the popular German TV channel RTL, and was quickly posted by Liveleak.com.
The video also was picked up by the Drudgereport.com.
In the video, emergency responders appear to administer CPR on two separate occasions as the TrimSpa spokeswoman was wheeled out of the hotel on a gurney, according to FOX News Channel producer Christopher Spinder, who viewed the tape on Thursday.
"At one point they kind of started to look like they were going to put the gurney onto the ambulance and they kind of pulled the gurney back out a little bit so they could do a second administering of CPR," Spinder said.
Her companion and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, is not visible in the video.
The two-minute tape, shot from three different angles from a distance of about 50 feet, shows Smith's sheet-covered body, with an oxygen mask over her face, being taken out of the Hard Rock Hotel by a gaggle of emergency responders, including paramedics and police.
"You cannot see her face, you cannot see hair flowing out from underneath the mask," Spinder said. "Again if someone didn't tell me this was Anna Nicole Smith, I totally would not have known it. You can't even tell it's a woman."
The video shows footage of the ambulance driving away from the hotel under a police escort, then cuts to the ambulance at Memorial Regional Hospital just after 2 p.m. ET Thursday.
"You do not see the ambulance pull into the hospital, and you do not see the body come out of the back of the ambulance," Spinder said. "You just see the ambulance sitting there.
"One would assume that the cameraman got there after the body had already been unloaded from the ambulance and was already in the hospital at that point," he said.
Smith died at 2:45 p.m. at the age of 39. She is survived by a 4-month-old daughter, Dannielynn Hope Marshall. Her only son, Daniel Smith, died in the Bahamas in September, three days after her daughter was born.
The winning bidder was unknown Thursday night.