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THE SITUATION ROOM

Anna Nicole Smith Dies

Aired February 8, 2007 - 16:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, HOST: And it's happening right now. We're continuing to follow this story. We're brining you the latest on this developing story, the news about Anna Nicole Smith, 39 years old, all of a sudden, within the past few minutes, we have now confirmed here at CNN that she has died.
She was rushed to a hospital in Hollywood and only moments ago we did confirm that she is dead.

We're standing by. We're awaiting a news conference, we expect, from that hospital in Hollywood.

John Zarrella, our man in Florida, is on the scene for us -- John, first of all, update our viewers on what you're learning about the circumstances surroundings Anna Nicole Smith's death.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is what we have heard from -- from sources here, that at approximately 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, the Hollywood -- well, the fire rescue from Seminole, the Seminole Indian Fire Rescue Department -- because she was apparently staying or was staying at Seminole Hard Rock Casino here in Hollywood, Florida, which, of course, is right near the Fort Lauderdale area. And they were called to her room at about 2:00 p.m.

She was found in her room lying unresponsive, unconscious in her room. They tried to perform CPR and revive her, but our sources are saying that even before the Seminole Fire Rescue was able to transport her that she, at least according to our sources, was -- had already passed away -- was deceased before they ever transported her.

They did bring her to Memorial Regional Hospital, which, again, is here in Hollywood, not very far from the Hard Rock Casino. So it could not have taken them very long.

There, they asked for Hollywood police to expedite and clear the way so they could get here, which was done.

But, again, according to all of the indications we have, Anna Nicole Smith was already dead before they ever left the Seminole Hollywood Regional Casino -- Wolf.

BLITZER: She became famous back when she was a Playmate of the Year back in 1993 and in 1994, as a lot of our viewers know, she then married an 89-year-old man, J. Howard Marshall, and that resulted in her becoming a lot more famous because of all the wealth that was suddenly involved in this marriage. She was still in her mid-20s. He was 89 years old. And it became a huge legal case after he passed away, and a lot of our viewers will remember.

More recently, there have been other incidents involved in her life, including the death of her son from a previous marriage, as well as the birth that she gave to another baby while she was down in the Caribbean.

I take it, John, that the physicians, the doctors, the personnel at the hospital there in Hollywood are getting ready to make some sort of statement.

Is that right?

ZARRELLA: Well, we're certainly hoping that's the case. It appears that everybody is trying to get in position at the hospital here, in front of the hospital. And, again, I can tell you that, you know, there are helicopters that are flying overhead. There's a lot of police units that are in the vicinity, Hollywood police.

And, again, I'm not quite sure whether that has anything, necessarily, to do with Anna Nicole Smith, why they are here.

But, yes, we are expecting that fairly soon that we may get some sort of a statement here from the hospital as to exactly what happened to Anna Nicole Smith, although, you know, certainly we don't think we're going to know anybody about a, you know, a cause of death right away, but certainly get some sort of a sense from the hospital officials, from the doctors who perhaps were the first to treat her here as to what her condition was; if, in fact, she was deceased when she got here -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, stand by, John.

We're going to stand by for that news conference. That's the microphones that we see at that news conference.

As soon as some spokesmen -- perhaps some of the physicians at the hospital -- emerge, we'll bring you their report.

Obviously, we're interested in that.

A.J. Hammer is covering this story for us.

He's in New York from our "Showbiz" unit on "HEADLINE NEWS" -- A.J. remind our viewers why there has been this fascination with Anna Nicole Smith over these years.

A.J. HAMMER, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well, over the years, certainly, as you mentioned, her marriage to the billionaire, J. Howard Marshall, in which she stood to inherit hundreds of millions of dollars, Wolf, after he passed away, and she has been in a legal battle with his estate first time.

Of course, she made huge news over the last several months. And to give you an idea of what she's been going through since September, she had moved down to the Bahamas so she could give birth to her daughter.

Well, that took place on September 7th. She gave birth to her daughter, Dannielynn Hope. And it was just a few days later, on September 10th, when her 21-year-old son, Daniel Wayne Smith, who had come to the hospital, had come from California down to the hospital in the Bahamas to meet his new sister, to be with his mother, who was not only his mom, but, indeed, his best friend. And he was her confidante.

Daniel William Smith died on September 10th in Anna Nicole Smith's hospital room of a reported lethal combination of over the counter medications and anti-depressants.

Now, Anna Nicole's lawyer and -- who we soon discovered to be her partner, Howard K. Stern, came forward on "LARRY KING LIVE" and revealed that he, in fact, was the father -- or at least he claimed to be the father of Anna Nicole's new baby daughter, Dannielynn.

Well, just a short time later, Anna Nicole's ex-boyfriend, Larry Burkhead, steps into the picture, claiming he is the father. And a paternity suit has ensued. And that's what we've been dealing with the last couple of weeks. She's saying that she would, in fact, come forward and submit to the paternity test.

So, Wolf, as you can see, she's been through quite a bit in a very short amount of time. The stress have to have been immense. But this is certainly an unexpected and very tragic turn of events for Anna Nicole Smith.

BLITZER: And walk us through what's happened in the last hour or so as we first got word. There was initial reports that she had collapsed as she was rushed to this hospital in Hollywood, Florida that's just north of Miami Beach.

Tell our viewers what happened.

HAMMER: Well, what we learned, Wolf, is that she apparently was staying at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. Now, Hollywood Fire Rescue is telling us that paramedics were called to the scene after she was found by someone that she was staying with -- we don't know who that was. We can venture a guess it may have been Howard K. Stern. That would be speculation at this point.

But she was found by whoever was staying with her in her room both unconscious and unresponsive, and then immediately taken to the Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital, which is just a short drive from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino there.

And, as we just heard, there are reports that she was already deceased before arriving at the hospital and we're now awaiting the news conference.

But this has all turned around in a very, very short amount of time.

BLITZER: All right, standby, A.J. because we're standing by for this news conference.

We expect a statement to be coming in from the hospital in Hollywood, Florida. We're going to go there once the authorities at that hospital, whether the physicians or other spokesmen for the hospital emerge.

We'll bring it to you.

I want to bring in our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- Sanjay, basically we don't know a lot. We know that she had collapsed and paramedics were on the scene. They rushed her to this hospital.

Walk us through the process of what would normally occur in this kind of a situation, a 39-year-old woman brought to the hospital obviously in critical condition.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Wolf.

A couple of things.

She was found down, is what we're hearing, meaning that it's unclear exactly how long she was down before the paramedics actually got to her. But there's a very standard sort of formula that paramedics are going to use when they actually evaluate her on the scene. They want to make sure that she's breathing and if she's not, then to go ahead and establish an airway by putting a tube, sometimes, down the trachea. They want to actually make sure she's breathing after that.

And then to assess the heart and determine whether there is a heart beat or not. If there is not a heart beat, several sequences start to take place. Various medications are given. Also, sometimes electricity is given in the form of a defibrillator, to try and stimulate the heart, to coax the heart back to some sort of rhythm.

That is typically what happens.

At the same time that is all happening, the patient is being moved to an ambulance and then being rushed to the hospital. Communication is constantly going on between the paramedics and the hospital, sort of informing them of the situation and then making a decision as to what's going to happen once somebody gets to the hospital.

And a 39-year-old who suddenly collapses like this, there are so many different possibilities as to what could have happened, whether it was some sort of heart problem, whether it was some sort of lung problem, whether it was some sort of toxicology problem. That is unknown.

Presumably, at the time that they start all this triage, they also take blood to test for various substances and also to test to see if she had a heart attack, any of that sort of stuff.

We're hearing some reports that she had a fever last night and was in some sort of an infection. All of these things are going to sort of be -- sort of investigated, if you will, Wolf, a little bit more still.

BLITZER: Because the dangers of anti-depressants, if they're not taken the right way, that could be a very, very serious and even deadly situation.

Walk us through that, because we know that Anna Nicole Smith has been -- gone through a lot of trauma, personal trauma, over these past several weeks.

GUPTA: Yes. And so there's two -- two scenarios, really, when you talk about medications, specifically anti-depressants. One is that you take too many of them. Or, two, is that you take them in combination with something else and the combination of those two drugs together is lethal.

Anti-depressants, at least some of them -- and I'm not familiar with what ones she was taking specifically, if she was, can have an effect on the heart. They can actually prolong some of the heart rhythms so that the heart, you know, it has a normal conduction. As a result of taking too much of certain medications, it actually starts to prolong the heart rhythm where the heart isn't actually getting enough blood to the rest of the body, and specifically the brain.

What happens at that point is someone may pass out. If that lack of adequate heart rate continues, they may essentially have a stroke and a heart attack, because the blood is not getting to the heart, as well.

And this is something that happens in someone who's developing heart failure as a result of some sort of toxic substance, again, whether it be too much of a medication like an anti-depressant or whether it be a combination of medications that together become lethal and stop the heart.

BLITZER: Stand by for a moment, Sanjay.

BLITZER: I want to bring in our senior medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta -- Sanjay, basically we don't know a lot. We know that she had collapsed and paramedics were on the scene. They rushed her to this hospital.

Walk us through the process of what would normally occur in this kind of a situation, a 39-year-old woman brought to the hospital obviously in critical condition.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Wolf.

A couple of things.

She was found down, is what we're hearing, meaning that it's unclear exactly how long she was down before the paramedics actually got to her. But there's a very standard sort of formula that paramedics are going to use when they actually evaluate her on the scene. They want to make sure that she's breathing and if she's not, then to go ahead and establish an airway by putting a tube, sometimes, down the trachea. They want to actually make sure she's breathing after that.

And then to assess the heart and determine whether there is a heart beat or not. If there is not a heart beat, several sequences start to take place. Various medications are given. Also, sometimes electricity is given in the form of a defibrillator, to try and stimulate the heart, to coax the heart back to some sort of rhythm.

That is typically what happens.

At the same time that is all happening, the patient is being moved to an ambulance and then being rushed to the hospital. Communication is constantly going on between the paramedics and the hospital, sort of informing them of the situation and then making a decision as to what's going to happen once somebody gets to the hospital.

And a 39-year-old who suddenly collapses like this, there are so many different possibilities as to what could have happened, whether it was some sort of heart problem, whether it was some sort of lung problem, whether it was some sort of toxicology problem. That it unknown.

Presumably, at the time that they start all this triage, they also take blood to test for various substances and also to test to see if she had a heart attack, any of that sort of stuff.

We're hearing some reports that she had a fever last night and was in some sort of an infection. All of these things are going to sort of be -- sort of investigated, if you will, Wolf, a little bit more still.

BLITZER: Because the dangers of anti-depressants, if they're not taken the right way, that could be a very, very serious and even deadly situation.

Walk us through that, because we know that Anna Nicole Smith has been -- gone through a lot of trauma, personal trauma, over these past several weeks.

GUPTA: Yes. And so there's two -- two scenarios, really, when you talk about medications, specifically anti-depressants. One is that you take too many of them. Or, two, is that you take them in combination with something else and the combination of those two drugs together is lethal.

Anti-depressants, at least some of them -- and I'm not familiar with what ones she was taking specifically, if she was, can have an effect on the heart. They can actually prolong some of the heart rhythms so that the heart, you know, it has a normal conduction. As a result of taking too much of certain medications, it actually starts to prolong the heart rhythm where the heart isn't actually getting enough blood to the rest of the body, and specifically the brain.

What happens at that point is someone may pass out. If that lack of adequate heart rate continues, they may essentially have a stroke and a heart attack, because the blood is not getting to the heart, as well.

And this is something that happens in someone who's developing heart failure as a result of some sort of toxic substance, again, whether it be too much of a medication like an anti-depressant or whether it be a combination of medications that together become lethal and stop the heart.

BLITZER: Stand by for a moment, Sanjay.

Larry King is on the phone.

He joins us from Los Angeles -- Larry, I know you have interviewed Anna Nicole Smith on several occasions and knew her.

Just updating our viewers, we have now confirmed from the hospital in Hollywood, Florida she has passed away. She's dead. We're awaiting a statement, a news conference to emerge from that hospital in Hollywood, Florida with some details. We don't know how many details, what they're going to say, clearly.

But talk a little bit about this woman, Larry, that you've known.

I know you're going to be doing a whole hour on this subject tonight.

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Yes, thanks, Wolf.

Yes, I've always liked Anna Nicole Smith. I first met her many years ago after the Playmate era when she was in "Playboy," featured in "Playboy." She came on the show -- I was doing it out of New York that night -- and liked her right away.

She was bouncy. She -- I went through with all of the marriage to the elderly gentleman, the weight gain is up, the weight gain is down. And there was always a special thing about her, even when they spoofed her on "Saturday Night Live." She could easily be made fun of. There was also a genuineness about her. She was an extraordinarily, extraordinarily pretty girl.

An unusual thing, Wolf, is that she did a painting that we have here in the house. She tried -- she was kind of an amateur painter. And I have an oil painting that she's done here. And, of course, we've been involved recently in this contest over who fathered the little girl. In fact, we have the lawyer for the gentleman, Larry, here that claims he's the father. And then, of course, we have Howard Stern claimed that he's the father. And now we have a little girl who's kind of lost in all this.

And it's really, really, really sad, Wolf. I think that, you know, she -- she was a special person. She was an unusual person. She was genuine. She was funny. She had some class. I feel very, very sorry for everybody concerned, but mostly for that little girl.

BLITZER: And she went through a real, real personal tragedy with the loss of her grown son.

talk a little bit about that, Larry, because it came almost around exactly the time of the birth of this little baby girl.

KING: I think it was a day-and-a-half apart. And she loved her son. I met her son once when she came to our studios in L.A. He accompanied her. He was an awfully good looking boy, a handsome young man.

What tragedy befell this -- this woman.

Can you imagine to lose a boy right after you give birth to a girl?

I mean I can't -- I couldn't fathom that. And I could not fathom how she went on.

BLITZER: And what do we know...

KING: I don't know how she went on.

BLITZER: ... Larry, about the circumstances of the death of her son?

KING: I think there was a question of a drug overdose. I don't know if it was ever clear because in Nassau they had these -- a lot of problems with the autopsy and there was a lot of questions concerning it, about what was the actual cause of death, who was in the room.

I know the story is that he was at her bedside.

Remember that, Wolf?

BLITZER: Right. I'm just reading here, Larry, he was 20 years old, Daniel Smith. He died suddenly on September 10, 2006 in his mother's hospital room while visiting her and his newborn sister. That happened in Nassau back in September.

KING: Yes.

Could you imagine anything sadder than that?

I can't. I can't. That's unfathomable to me, Wolf, let me tell you.

BLITZER: And this followed several years of litigation involving the money, the millions of -- hundreds of millions of dollars that was left in the estate of her 90 -- he was well into his 90s by the time he passed away, J. Howard Marshall.

KING: And we forget, she won a historic Supreme Court case 9-0, that turned it back -- they had turned her down from the bankruptcy court in Texas and the court 9-0 -- they haven't heard it yet -- or maybe they've just heard it -- ruled in her favor. The thinking was that they might have settled this before it went back to the Houston court and an enormous amount of money would have been coming her way.

BLITZER: She was only married to J. Howard Marshall for 14 months. They got married in '94 and he passed away in 1995, but left all the money, if not all of it, most of it, to her as opposed to his other children.

KING: Correct. And they're the ones that filed a suit. They won in the lower court, but the Supreme Court ruled in her favor and it went back and it's in Houston.

I don't know if they've heard it yet in Houston, if there are settlement hearings, etc.

What a story.

BLITZER: It's an amazing story, Larry, and I know that you can bring some unique insight because you actually knew this woman, who was born in very, very humble origins down in Texas and becomes a Playmate, a "Playboy" Playmate of the Year in 1993 and then marries this very fabulously wealthy 89-year-old man.

KING: It's -- it's a story for the books. It's a story that will be written about and talked about. I imagine there'll be a major motion picture about it. And we still don't know the cause, right?

BLITZER: No. We're waiting for the hospital. They're about, supposedly going to be having a statement -- some sort of announcement coming in from authorities at the hospital in Hollywood, Florida.

We've got our microphones there. We're going to share that with our viewers as soon as we know some specific details. But we know she was rushed to the hospital from this hotel where she was staying and we don't know if she was pronounced dead on the scene or any of those specific details, although we have confirmed she is dead.

Anything else you want to add, Larry, before I let you go?

KING: No, we'll do a whole show on it tonight with many guests, Wolf.

And thanks for having me with you.

BLITZER: All right, Larry.

"LARRY KING LIVE" airs at 9:00 p.m. Eastern tonight.

He's going to be all over this story.

Just recapping, Anna Nicole Smith, 39 years old, pronounced dead just a little while ago at a hospital in Hollywood, Florida.

I want to bring back Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent -- Sanjay, the circumstances very, very eerie given the fact that a 39-year-old woman, presumably in good health, dies under these mysterious circumstances.

GUPTA: Yes. I think any time as doctors, as people who are health care professionals, if you hear about someone so young having a sudden death like that, it is -- it is something to be investigated, for sure. It is not common. It is a very rare thing.

So the questions become what are you looking for? What are your sort of suspects in a situation like this?

I think heart problems still has to be the number one, two and three reason. You know, you're talking about what exactly cause the heart problem makes it a little bit more difficult.

Was it some sort of anomaly, some sort of problem that she had in her heart, maybe even a congenital thing, that just now, for the first time, caused a problem for her? Or was it somehow related to medications, as we were talking about earlier, that she was taking, either in too high a dose or in combination with other medications?

Or was this something like a pulmonary embolism?

People talk about pulmonary embolism -- sometimes, as you may know, Wolf, that's a clot that is actually in your leg and that can actually break off and it can go to the lung and it can cause death in some situations, as well.

All speculation, I think that you'd have to think about cardiac problems and you'd have to think about lung problems in association with this pulmonary embolism. You do have to talk about medications/toxicology problems, either, again, too much of one medication or a combination of medications.

These are the things that sort of spring to mind.

Typically what happens, Wolf, in a situation like this, is that the paramedics will start resuscitation no matter -- no matter what the scene. You know, if someone even does not have a pulse, they will start giving medications. They may use a defibrillator to actually coax the heart back to some sort of rhythm. They'll place a breathing tube.

All of this is happening sort of sequentially while they're maybe moving the patient, as well, into a stretcher, into an ambulance and subsequently to the hospital. Constant communication, Wolf, as we were talking about, between the paramedics and the doctors trying to sort out just what sort of shape she's in by the time she actual hits those hospital doors -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I assume, Sanjay -- correct me if I'm wrong -- , we're not going to get a whole lot of details from the doctors, the hospital spokesmen, when they emerge at this news conference. They have to do a major autopsy, I assume, to find out the exact cause of death, what happened. And we're probably going to get very, very preliminary information.

GUPTA: That would be my guess, as well, Wolf, unless there is something glaringly obvious which they just haven't told us yet and which they would tell us at that time, I think you're right. We're not going to hear a lot of other details. They may say that she passed away of heart failure.

But at that point the bigger question, the larger question is what caused the heart failure?

And I think you are right, Wolf, that may take a little bit longer to determine. Sometimes they have to analyze someone's blood to determine if there was any substances within the blood. They may also have to do an autopsy to look at the heart itself, to figure out, was there some sort of problem, a genetic problem, even, with the heart?

And that can take a few days. The same thing true, as well, by -- of the lungs. One of these clots that sometimes breaks off and goes into the lungs, that could -- those can be tricky to find. And they may have to find that to determine a cause of death, as well, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, stand by.

I want to bring back A.J. Hammer from -- who's covering -- who's been covering show biz for a long time. He knows this story quite well -- A.J. she was a model. She was an actress, not necessarily all that successful, although she was a "Playboy" Playmate.

HAMMER: Wolf, she was one of these people who we like to say was famous for the sake of being famous. She was great tabloid fodder because of her bombshell looks. Of course, as you mentioned, she was a "Playboy" playmate. But she was a model for Guess Jeans and that got her an awful lot of attention.

Of course, her marriage to the multi-millionaire, J. Howard Marshall, got her an awful lot of attention.

But then in more recent years, she was very notarized for her Trim Spa commercials. as Larry King mentioned to you, they talked a great deal about her ups and downs with her weight.

And then more recently she had a reality TV show that gave us a little glimpse into her personal life. The reality show didn't fare all that well, but it really showed off these spaced out antics, if you will, that she became quite well known for.

But as I mentioned, really sort of famous for the sake of being famous. You can't pin it on -- on any one particular feat of acting or great accomplish in the entertainment industry.

BLITZER: Yes, well, I guess it all turned around for her when she became "Playboy's" Playmate of the Year back in '93, and then she really started to become famous when all of a sudden she married J. Howard Marshall, as you point out, who was then 89 years old back in '94. And she became even more famous.

Carol Costello is also watching this story for us -- Carol, tell us some things about Anna Nicole Smith that our viewers may not necessarily know.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I was surprised at how many movies she appeared in, Wolf.

You know, you mentioned that she was Playmate of the Year in 1993. In 1992, she was Playmate of the Month. That was after being a topless dancer at some small strip club in Texas. And she became this famous person, going on to model for Guess Jeans.

And then she appeared in a series of movies. She was in "Naked Gun." She was in "Final Insult." She was in "The Hudsucker Proxy."

And then she did that show, "The Anna Nicole Smith Show," from 2002 to 2004. And that gave everyone a decidedly different impression of her. Everyone was wondering whether she was on something during the shooting of a show. But it was short-lived because it was just so darned bizarre.

You mentioned in '94 she married Howard Marshall. She was 26 years old them. He was 89 years old. He met her in a strip club and famously, after they married, she looked at him and she said, "Bye, darling. I'm off to Greece."

And then you know all about the fight over the money because, of course, Howard Marshall died soon after their marriage.

So a lot of things are interesting about this woman -- bizarre and interesting and sad, and just a fascinating person, in many ways.

BLITZER: And, you know, given the tragedy in her more recent past, the death of her son, a 20-year-old son, and now this, it's -- it came to a, I'm sure, to a lot of our viewers quite a shock, the fact that now she's actually dead, as a result, we don't know what happened. We know that she was rushed to this hospital. It's a really shocking turn of events for...

COSTELLO: Yes. She was due to just stay a couple of days in Hollywood, Florida in this hotel. She was due to check out, I think, tomorrow. And suddenly she collapsed and she didn't make it. She died in the hospital.

BLITZER: And that's that.

Sanjay is still with us, Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent -- Sanjay, walk us through the process now, what you assume the physicians are doing, the nurses, inside, as she was brought in immediately, presumably unconscious.

GUPTA: Yes, you know, it's interesting, Wolf, on the scene, if you come upon a scene like this where someone is found down and you're not really sure what the circumstances are, typically the scenario is that you're going to try everything. You're going to try everything to try and resuscitate that person.

And there is a standard formula which is ingrained into the minds of all paramedics and doctors. Basically it's ABC -- you establish an airway if someone is not breathing; then the, B, you make sure that they're breathing; and then, C, you make sure that they have circulation of blood throughout their body.

It sounds like, from what we're hearing, putting together the details like you are, Wolf, that she was not breathing. She didn't have a heart beat at the time.

So several things will happen. A tube -- and what's called an endotracheal tube will actually be placed into her trachea and that will be hooked up to a bag. So you'll see someone starting to bag.

You'll also have someone giving medications through an I.V. which is established, as well, at the time. And then someone will actually take a defibrillator, a source of electricity, and start trying to coax the heart back into some sort of rhythm.

And there's a standard formula for that, as well. You try a few times and then in between that, you have someone who's doing chest compression. You've seen this, Wolf -- someone who's actually, with both hands, actually pushing on the heart, trying to establish some sort of heart rate again.

A couple of things about this that are important. It is unclear how long she was down before the paramedics got there. That is an important point. We don't know how long she was down. If it had been hours, for example, that would obviously be a much more -- a much different scenario than if she had been down for minutes.

While all this is going on, Wolf, that I'm describing to you, sequentially they're also putting someone onto a stretcher, moving them onto an ambulance and then -- and then basically trying to get them to the hospital, talking to the doctors and telling them what the situation is, giving these medications and constantly doing the defibrillation, as well.

They may also make a search of the room to see if there's any obvious signs of, for example, pills that are around, anything that might give them clues as to what happened.

But it sounds like, at least from what we're hearing, just like you are, Wolf, very few clues so far. A little bit of a mystery here as the doctors are probably trying to piece it together as we're sitting here waiting.

BLITZER: We're waiting for this news conference at the Memorial Regional Hospital down in Hollywood, Florida. We expect that to happen soon, although we're not exactly sure when. But we can see the microphones there. We're ready for it as soon as...

GUPTA: We're going to get that other (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

BLITZER: ... as soon as we know about it. Sanjay I also want to pick your brain on this subject. When an -- when somebody calls 911, they ask an ambulance to come over, there's somebody on the floor unconscious, how well trained, under normal circumstances, are these paramedics who are in these ambulances and get to the scene of this kind of a situation?

GUPTA: Well, they're remarkably well trained. In the United States, there's a specific type of system that's basically a scoop and run type system. And I'll differentiate for you, for example, with Princess Diana. You remember when you suddenly have someone who's -- who's in a bad position in a car in a tunnel in France, for example, they tried to do all the triage on the scene.

In the United States the whole goal of the triage is for the paramedics to come in, try and stabilize someone as quickly as possible and then move them to a hospital, where they can get more sophisticated treatment.

But, you know, in terms of stabilizing, several things do happen. Again, trying to establish that airway, giving these medications, all of that is happening.

Paramedics go through routine -- this training. And it's standardized across the country. Doctors go through it. I went through it. It's a standardized sort of training that's called ACLS, American Cardio-Life Support Training. And then you -- it's systemized, you know, so literally it follows the acronym ABCs, Wolf -- airway, breathing and circulation -- so that everyone knows what everyone else is doing at the same time. They're all on the same page trying to get the patient stabilized and moved to the hospital as quickly as possible.

So, you know, very well trained, typically, Wolf.

BLITZER: Sanjay, all right, stand by.

Our John Zarrella is down at the hospital in Hollywood, Florida, just outside.

I take it, John, that there is a -- that they're getting ready for some sort of statement.

What are you hearing from hospital officials?

ZARRELLA: Well, we're not hearing anything right now from the hospital officials, Wolf. You know, we're still all here waiting. There's a large gathering of the media over here to the front of me and we're just hanging here waiting for the hospital officials to come out and recap what happened that we know from our sources was that at about 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, that paramedics were called to Anna Nicole Smith's room.

She was at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, which is not far from here, also in Hollywood, Florida.

And when the paramedics from the Seminole Indian Reservation got there, they found her unresponsive. She was apparently found there by the roommate whom she was staying with. We don't know exactly who that was. Not confirmed to us.

And we are hearing, Wolf, that she, in fact, may well have already been dead, had already been deceased by the time they got to her in her room.

They did, of course, try CPR on her, etc. etc. But -- and transported her to Hollywood Regional Hospital, where we are now.

But, again, the word is, Wolf, that by the time they got her here -- which would not have been very long -- that she, of course, was already deceased and may well have been deceased before they ever transported her -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And set the scene a little bit down in Hollywood at the hospital where you are right now. I take it TV crews, camera crews, reporters, they're coming in.

ZARRELLA: Yes. It's everywhere here around me. I have my back, of course, to the...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Monica was a witness.

ZARRELLA: Monica was a witness.

And, Monica, come in here.

Let me bring in a witness. And I'm just getting this first.

Monica, I want to grab my microphone here and you're going to have to talk right into me.

You -- your name is?

MONICA ALVARADO: Monica.

ZARRELLA: And your last name?

ALVARADO: Alvarado.

ZARRELLA: Alvarado.

And what -- where were you?

Tell us what you saw.

ALVARADO: We was out there, me and a friend of mine. Her mom's having a baby. So we just came out to get fresh air and we seen a whole bunch of cops and an ambulance. And a friend of ours told us that was Anna Nicole in there.

ZARRELLA: And so you saw her here coming into the hospital?

ALVARADO: Yes.

ZARRELLA: Did you get a good look at her in there or not?

ALVARADO: She was covered up.

ZARRELLA: She was covered up?

Completely covered up?

ALVARADO: Yes.

ZARRELLA: As if she was deceased?

ALVARADO: Yes. They said she was dead upon arrival.

ZARRELLA: So you -- that was what you heard over there?

ALVARADO: Yes, I actually took a picture of the ambulance. But there was...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who did you see with her?

ALVARADO: There was too many cops there.

ZARRELLA: You couldn't see who was with her?

ALVARADO: No, because they were pushing everybody back.

ZARRELLA: So -- and what else? Anything else that you can tell us that you saw? Was there any rush by the medical authorities to get her in? Were they trying...

ALVARADO: Yes, they just moved...

ZARRELLA: ... were they still...

ALVARADO: They just moved everybody back. They didn't want nobody there. So we got pushed back.

ZARRELLA: So you couldn't tell whether they were still trying to work on her or anything?

ALVARADO: No. They told us she was dead upon arrival.

ZARRELLA: So that there wasn't any urgency to try and work on her?

ALVARADO: Yes. She was covered up. So she was already dead.

ZARRELLA: OK, thank you very much.

we appreciate it.

So, Wolf, an eyewitness here, you heard that first -- let me put this back on briefly. You heard that they apparently saw her being brought in here and that from every indication that they got witnessing the transport arrival here at the hospital that Anna Nicole Smith was, indeed, deceased. At least that's what that witnesses there saw -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And, John, our colleague, Susan Candiotti, reporting that the body of Anna Nicole Smith will be handed over to the medical examiner down in Broward County in Hollywood, Florida, where you are, tomorrow for an autopsy. So I guess they're going to go forward with the autopsy as early as tomorrow.

ZARRELLA: Sure. But, you know, autopsy results can take some time. Perhaps get a preliminary autopsy result fairly quickly. But as you're well aware, it might take some time before they actually come in with a definitive finding of the cause of death -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, John.

Now you're going to stay there for us outside the hospital in Hollywood.

ZARRELLA: Yes.

BLITZER: And we will stand by, await word from spokesmen, spokeswomen from the hospital to emerge and tell us some of the circumstances, whatever they can tell us, about the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

Our senior legal analyst, Jeff Toobin, is joining us right now.

Jeff, a lot of our viewers may not necessarily be aware of the fact that her case and the money left by her late husband, who is well into his 90s, that case has actually gone all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: No, she was a litigant, amazingly enough. The Supreme Court only takes a handful of cases a year, 70 cases.

And, last year, her case, involving the will of the elderly man she married, J. Howard Marshall, went to the Supreme Court. It was on a very obscure issue of probate law. It related to state vs. federal jurisdiction. I assure you, none of us would have been interested in the case, except that Anna Nicole Smith was a party.

She actually won her case, which put her in position to come into tens of millions of dollars. That case was still not resolved at the time of her death. She had not actually received the money, but she had won the case and was in a position to get it soon. But the litigation has been going on for years and years. And it probably would have taken several more for it to be resolved finally.

But she did win her case in the Supreme Court.

BLITZER: And it's highly unusual to get a case like this that makes it all the way to the Supreme Court. And, for the Supreme Court justices to accept this case, even if it was on an -- an obscure issue of probate, clearly underscores that it had some potential legal significance for the American public as a whole.

TOOBIN: It -- it was, although, you know, even by the standards of obscure litigation, this was a really obscure issue, because it only related to probate. And most people's wills don't even go to probate. And this related to whether federal or state court controls this particular kind of -- kind of estate. I mean, it -- it really was a narrow case. But because it was Anna Nicole, a lot of people paid attention. And she went to court. And she was in the Supreme Court in a very subdued outfit. And the justices debated her case. And she won.

You know, it does relate to the thing that probably made her most famous of all, which was her marriage to this oil heir, 19 -- the 89- year-old J. Howard Marshall.

His son was the person that she was litigating against, because they were fighting over the money. He was saying that he was entitled to the money. She was saying that she was entitled, as the widow. And the Supreme Court case did not end everything in the litigation, but it certainly gave her a big advantage for the final settlement negotiations, which were, as I understand it, under way at -- at the time of her death.

BLITZER: He left an estate valued at $1.6 billion. And she won -- initially won $474 million as part of that judgment.

I want to point out, Jeffrey, to our viewers, we are actually awaiting two news conferences, one from authorities at the hospital in Hollywood, Florida, another one from the sheriff in Seminole, over at the casino, at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino -- the Seminole sheriff -- police chief, Charlie Tiger.

There is some microphones you see there.

Under this kind of a circumstance -- and you're a former U.S. attorney -- you worked in the U.S. attorney's office, Jeff -- do they immediately take a look at the potential -- we have no idea if there was any foul play, but I assume, as a matter of routine, the police would look into the circumstances surrounding this sudden kind of death.

TOOBIN: Absolutely.

I mean, when someone who is this young dies, the -- the police would automatically get involved. And states vary, but almost certainly -- I mean, as John Zarrella was saying, there will be an autopsy, because the cause of death will be extremely important in determining whether there is a criminal investigation or not, because, if there is something suspicious about her death, that would, of course, lead to a criminal investigation.

So, I think the first important step would be to examine the scene where she was found and who was with her, what the witnesses were, what was found in -- in the area. And the second would be to do an autopsy, and to determine the cause of death, because, you know, autopsies often determine whether there is a homicide or not.

BLITZER: If she died, in fact, at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, which is obviously run by this Indian tribe, the jurisdiction, the -- the investigation becomes a little bit more complex.

Talk a little bit about that for us, Jeff. TOOBIN: It -- it -- it could be.

The -- the -- the tribes, in certain circumstances, have legal jurisdiction that includes criminal jurisdiction over any crimes that take place on a reservation.

Now, given that this is a highly developed area, where, undoubtedly, there are lots of potential criminal activities, I -- I would imagine it would be under the civilian authorities. But, in keeping with the tangled litigation that has characterized the last years of her life, I wouldn't be -- be surprised if there were issues relating to the fact that, you know, an -- an Indian reservation, in certain circumstances, can have a different set of laws than an ordinary jurisdiction, an ordinary civilian jurisdiction, you know, across the street.

BLITZER: All right.

So, we're going to stand by and await these two news conferences, one from the -- the police chief, and one from the medical authorities at the hospital.

But, Jeff, stand by for a moment.

A.J. Hammer, our showbiz correspondent in New York, is working his sources.

What are you picking up, A.J.?

A.J. HAMMER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" just spoke with Debra Opri.

Now, Debra is the attorney for Larry Birkhead. Larry is the plaintiff in the paternity lawsuit against Anna Nicole Smith. A lot of people are wondering right now, where is the 6-month-old daughter of Anna Nicole Smith, Dannielynn?

What we are learning from Debra Opri, the attorney for Larry Birkhead, is that the child is in the Bahamas. They will be seeking an emergency order to get custody of that child.

Now, of course, all of this dates back, Wolf, to September 7 in the Bahamas, when Dannielynn Hope was born to Anna Nicole Smith. Anna Nicole had announced on her Web site in the past year that she was pregnant. She and Howard K. Stern, her attorney and, we later learned, her partner, and the man claiming to be the father of Dannielynn moved to the Bahamas to escape the scrutiny of the media and so they could give birth to the baby in peace.

BLITZER: All right, hold on a second, A.J.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: I want to go to That press conference at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... in reference to this. Thank you.

Chief.

CHARLIE TIGER, SEMINOLE, FLORIDA, POLICE CHIEF: Good afternoon. My name is Chief Tiger with the Seminole Police Department.

QUESTION: Chief, could you please speak up and move a little bit...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: OK. Here we go.

My name is Chief Tiger. I'm with the Seminole Police Department.

QUESTION: First name, please.

TIGER: Charlie.

OK. At approximately 1:45 p.m. today, the Seminole Police Department responded to the Hollywood Hard Rock Hotel in reference to a person needing medical assistance.

The person later identified as Anna Nicole Smith was transported by paramedics and transported to Hollywood -- was treated by paramedics and transported to the Hollywood Memorial Hospital.

At 2:49 this afternoon, we were advised by hospital personnel that Anna Nicole Smith had died.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

The cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner. That's the Broward County medical examiner. And the Seminole Police Department will continue its investigation into this matter.

QUESTION: Sir, did you respond to a room?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Did you respond to a hotel room?

TIGER: What room was that (OFF-MIKE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a hotel room.

TIGER: It's a hotel room within the hotel.

QUESTION: Who made the call to the police? And can you please tell us what the person reported her condition to be, as specifically as you can, please?

TIGER: It was a nurse that was in the room at 1:38 who called the hospital operator. And, within two minutes, the operations personnel within the hotel responded to the room.

QUESTION: Was she breathing? Had that call come in as someone who was having trouble breathing? Or how did the call come in?

TIGER: At 1:45, all I know is that a bodyguard administered CPR to her.

QUESTION: Sorry. Could you please repeat that?

TIGER: At 1:45, a bodyguard administered CPR to her.

QUESTION: OK. And -- and did you say that a nurse called the hospital?

TIGER: It was her nurse that called.

QUESTION: Her nurse called?

And what condition did they say that she was in when she was discovered? And who -- who discovered her, then, the nurse? Is that the person that discovered her?

TIGER: The nurse is the one who discovered her. I don't know what condition she was in.

QUESTION: Can you tell us about the scene...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... itself in the -- in the room? Was there...

TIGER: Pardon me?

QUESTION: Can you tell us -- can you paint a picture of the scene itself, of the...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: I haven't been to the scene. So, I can't -- all I know, it was a hotel room.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: I noticed that Broward crime lab is here. Can you explain what -- what they're doing?

TIGER: They're processing the scene at this time.

QUESTION: Is this being treated as a crime?

TIGER: Not yet. We're just taking all the precautions right there.

QUESTION: Were there any children in the room? We understand...

(CROSSTALK) TIGER: No. There were no children in the room.

QUESTION: Anyone else in the room? Her husband? Any other family...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: ... the bodyguard that was in the room with her.

QUESTION: Do you know why there was a nurse was with her? Had...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: No, I do not know that.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: We understand that she was having a...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... that she had a fever last night, or a higher temperature. Have you heard anything about that?

TIGER: I'm not -- I don't know -- I don't know of any medical condition she was having. I don't know that.

QUESTION: Do you know why...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... been here at the hotel, please?

TIGER: She has been here a couple or three times prior to this. So, she's a frequent patron here.

QUESTION: Chief, what was the room that she passed away in? What floor (OFF-MIKE)

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: Sixth floor.

QUESTION: Do you know the room number?

TIGER: No, I don't.

QUESTION: Did she pass away in the room or did she pass away in the hospital?

TIGER: At the hospital.

QUESTION: Do we know if she had a cardiac arrest or (INAUDIBLE)

TIGER: I don't know that, pending the medical examiner's findings.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Were there any other obvious signs of any sort of -- or -- of anything else that looked unusual, any -- was she bleeding in any way, any trauma in any way?

TIGER: I don't know that. I wasn't in the room. All I have is what is written here.

QUESTION: Do you know what she was in town for?

TIGER: She's just -- like I said, she was a frequent patron here.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: I'm sorry. I couldn't hear what you said.

QUESTION: Any illegal substances found in the room?

TIGER: Pardon me?

QUESTION: Any illegal substances...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: I haven't been up to the room to -- it's in the crime scene -- crime scene lab's hands right now.

QUESTION: Alcohol?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: When did she arrive...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Do you know when she got here to the (OFF-MIKE)

TIGER: Got here Monday.

QUESTION: What day?

TIGER: Since Monday, she has been here.

QUESTION: Was she here for any events or any...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Excuse me.

Was she staying, please, with Mr. Stern or did she check in, you know, alone, or...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... husband, yes.

TIGER: Hmm?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the husband. Was he with her?

TIGER: Yes, he was here. He was -- that's the husband. He was here with her.

QUESTION: He was here with her?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Where is he now?

TIGER: I don't know where he is right now.

QUESTION: Was she here for any sort of event, any particular...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: No. She's just a patron that comes frequently here to the hotel.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... are any -- are any of the people who were here and/or with the hotel, is there anyone who was a witness to this in any way, shape, or form? I mean, the bodyguard...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: No. No. No one -- no one is down here from the room.

QUESTION: Has the bodyguard already given a statement to you, Chief?

TIGER: Not to me, no.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Has anyone -- has anyone here, have they actually seen the scene itself...

TIGER: No.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... with you?

TIGER: No.

QUESTION: Did the nurse find her, or did the nurse...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... with her when she collapsed?

TIGER: All I know is, a nurse called at 1:38 p.m., called the hotel operator.

QUESTION: Had -- had she been scene around the hotel at all earlier in the day, by the pool, anywhere?

TIGER: We don't know that.

QUESTION: Was there a call to 911?

TIGER: To the -- the hotel operator, which is a 911...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... the hotel?

TIGER: The -- the hotel operator has 911 access.

QUESTION: So, who was in the room altogether, Howard K. Stern, her nurse?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: ... go through that, please?

TIGER: Do we know who was in the room?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think only the nurse was in the room at the time.

TIGER: Only the nurse was in the room at the time.

QUESTION: You said the bodyguard, though, was there?

QUESTION: What about the bodyguard who administered CPR?

TIGER: He came in at a later time to administer CPR.

QUESTION: Why didn't the nurse do CPR (OFF-MIKE)

TIGER: I don't know that.

QUESTION: Who was she here with altogether? (OFF-MIKE) nurse, bodyguard, her partner, the four of them?

TIGER: I don't know who all she was with. I -- I haven't...

QUESTION: Can you tell us whether the nurse is a local nurse or...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: I can't tell you that. I don't know that.

QUESTION: Male or female, please? TIGER: Is it a male?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Female.

TIGER: Female nurse.

QUESTION: Female nurse?

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it was her -- her private nurse, not a...

TIGER: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: .. not a Hard Rock nurse.

TIGER: No, private nurse.

QUESTION: Do we know how long she was planning to stay here?

TIGER: No, I do not know that.

QUESTION: Do you know when she checked in?

TIGER: Monday.

QUESTION: Chief, the call to the 911 to the hotel operator, can you describe what was conveyed (OFF-MIKE) emergency (OFF-MIKE)

TIGER: Other than -- nothing other than she needed medical assistance. That's all I know.

QUESTION: Now, did the operator then, in turn call, you or 911?

TIGER: They called hotel security. Then they called the Seminole Fire Rescue.

QUESTION: Is there anyone here on the property that you're continuing to talk to, anyone being questioned in any way?

TIGER: Detectives are up there right now. I don't -- I don't know who they're talking to. I haven't been up there to see.

QUESTION: Can you tell us what she was doing since Monday, you know, been out to the casino, the spa...

(CROSSTALK)

TIGER: Just relaxing, probably. That's why they come here to the hotel. That's why they come here to the hotel, to relax.

QUESTION: Chief, can you describe the condition of -- of her room?

TIGER: I haven't been up there to see it.

And that's all the information I have right now for everybody.

And our deepest sympathies go out to the family at this -- family at this time.

Thank you very much.

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: What is the next step for your investigation?

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION: Will you be reviewing surveillance video at all to help at all?

TIGER: I can't release that right now.

QUESTION: Are your 911 tapes releasable under 119 of the Public Records Law? Or is it different because you're an Indian reservation?

QUESTION: So, you won't be releasing the tapes?

QUESTION: Will you release the tapes?

BLITZER: All right.

So, there it is from the Seminole police chief, Charlie Tiger, giving some details on the circumstances surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent, listened carefully, as did all of us.

Sanjay, we didn't learn a whole lot from the police chief. But we got some -- some information involving the -- the mysterious circumstances of the death of this 39-year-old woman.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

It was a little mysterious, still, Wolf. A couple of things sort of jumped out at me.

At 1:38, they say, is when a nurse, apparently, who -- a private nurse, sounds like, activated the 911 system. At 1:49 -- 1:45, a bodyguard was actually administering CPR. So, within those seven minutes, obviously, someone determined that she needed CPR and started that.

And then she was -- as we talked about, the paramedics, it sounds like they arrived, evaluated her, probably carried out the standard sort of treatments that paramedics do, in terms of establishing the airway.

But it was at 2:49 when she was actually pronounced deceased at the hospital. So, it was about just over an hour took place between the time that the bodyguard was performing CPR, the paramedics arrived, took her to the hospital. And, an hour or later or so, she was actually pronounced dead.

So, I don't -- I don't know. It's a little confusing, because, obviously, you're hearing conflicting reports about whether or not she may have actually already been dead by the time she got to the hospital, but they -- clearly heard there just now say that it was 2:49, after she was already in the hospital, that the declaration of death actually happened -- so, a little mysterious, still.

I think that they will probably try and clear up some of those details, Wolf, hopefully, in a little bit here.

BLITZER: And the fact that she was pronounced dead at 2:49, and that initial call was at 1:38, that -- we shouldn't jump to the conclusion she was alive for that hour, and she only died at 2:49. She could have been dead from the very start of this incident.

GUPTA: Yes, that's right. It certainly sounds like that.

I guess what -- what is a little confusing, I'm hearing some reports -- John Zarrella just interviewing somebody -- saying that, by the time she was brought into the hospital, there was no active CPR actually going on; there was, in fact, a sheet covering her body at that time, as -- as from one witness that John Zarrella interviewed.

That would obviously suggest that there was no further treatment, no further resuscitation ongoing at that time. That was what was confusing to me a little bit. But you're right, 1:38, the first call, 911 -- over an hour later, in the hospital now, she is pronounced dead.

BLITZER: Obviously, there is a lot of possible causes of death.

But I know you have been giving it some thought. What are some of the possibilities?

GUPTA: Well, you know, I think that you have to -- when you think about a young person with, we -- we -- and we know a lot about Anna Nicole Smith, in terms of her medical history.

We know a lot about her weight gains, weight losses, some of the medications she has taken, a couple of things. I think cardiac, heart-related problems have to be the top few -- few on the list, as far as possible causes of death here.

After that, you're talking about something like a -- a pulmonary embolism, which can be a -- a relatively common thing in a younger person. Now, this is a clot, Wolf, as you may know. They exist in the legs often. And they can break off, and go to the lungs. People develop clotting disorders for all sorts of different reasons.

Medication interactions, like we have been talking about as well -- and that means either too much of a medication or an interaction of medications which ends up being lethal for some reason.

Infection -- you keep hearing about this possibility that there was a fever last night. Was that a harbinger, in some way, of some sort of infectious problem that ultimately led to death? I don't know.

Blood loss -- although that is less likely now, as we're hearing. There was no signs of some sort of mortal injury, some sort of trauma to -- to Anna Nicole Smith. That was something that I was certainly listening for, did not hear that that was the case.

So, I think the -- the top choices there have to be the most likely here.

Also, keep in mind, you know, when we take about her overall history, this is a woman who weighed 140 pounds in 1992. She got up to 224 pounds, and then lost 70 pounds on the TrimSpa diet. Remember that? You always wonder about the -- the metabolic differences that have gone on in her body, as a result of those sorts of weight losses and gains as well.

I don't know. It's -- it's speculation at this time, Wolf. And we may not know for several days, still, after the autopsy is performed.

BLITZER: And, presumably, the autopsy could be performed as early as tomorrow by the medical examiner down in Broward County, in Hollywood, Florida, where -- where she died.

The -- did I -- did -- did you catch the -- this? I think I heard the police chief say that there was a nurse there who made that initial 911 call?

GUPTA: Yes, I heard the same thing, Wolf. And it -- sort of clarified at the end. It sounds like it was a private nurse. Maybe this is a nurse that travels with Anna Nicole Smith, for some reason.

And it sounds like that was the first person to make a call. And, for some reason, seven minutes later, at 1:45, it was the bodyguard who was performing CPR, again, according to this police chief's records. I don't know why CPR wouldn't have been performed initially, at the time of the 911 call.

It's a little murky in there, as far as that, you know, hour-and- four-minute time period as -- as to what exactly happened there. But, typically, you can -- you can be pretty assured that, by the time the paramedics got there, it was a very standard sequence of events that took place after that, in terms of actually giving medications, using a defibrillator to try and jump-start the heart, if you will, and -- and establishing this -- this breathing again, and, then, obviously, the transporting to the hospital.

In between, a little less clear, still -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And -- and if she was, in fact, traveling with a private nurse, or if there was a private nurse at that casino, hotel, where she was staying, presumably -- presumably -- there will be a good record of the medications she may have been taking.

GUPTA: Yes. I think so, too. I was thinking the exact same thing. There may be a little bit -- might be a little bit clearer. It may have something to do with this high fever that people keep referring to last night. I don't know that that has been confirmed yet. But, a few times now, I have heard that she had a fever last night. As a result, sometimes, hotels will provide some sort of health care professional to help care for somebody.

Perhaps, that was where -- how this nurse came in to the -- to the story. I -- I don't know. But the bodyguard, sounds like, was the first person to actually start the actual pushing on the chest, the cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

BLITZER: She spoke about her health, Sanjay, to our Larry King back in 2004, when she was a guest on his program.

I want to play a little bit of that for our viewers now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LARRY KING LIVE," FEBRUARY 9, 2004)

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Do you know why you put on weight? Do you know why, yourself?

ANNA NICOLE SMITH, ENTERTAINER/MODEL: Yes, I do.

KING: Was it due to depression?

SMITH: It was the depression from reliving the trials...

KING: Yes.

SMITH: ... from -- from my husband, twice. That's why I got fat twice. And nobody understands that. Nobody cares, because they think I'm a gold digger.

And it's not true. I loved my husband, and I had to relive that over twice. I had to keep reliving this court thing. You know, it depressed me. It depressed me to hear the awful things that I had to hear. You know, it hurt. And, you know, nobody cares. I just heard crap all the time about me.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Did health play any part? Did -- were you worried a little about your health in order to lose weight?

SMITH: No, I wasn't worried about my health at all. I wasn't worried about my health, losing the weight. I'm kind of worried about it now, because I need to gain a little bit more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right, let's go back to Sanjay.

That is what she said back in 2004. Clearly, this was a woman who did have some health problems, given the fact that she fluctuated in that weight as dramatically as -- as she did. GUPTA: Yes. It -- it is pretty profound, how much weight she gained and then lost. She talked about it quite candidly there. She also alluded to the depression.

As far as the weight goes, there's a couple of things that we do know about her. First of all, she was -- she was 5 feet, 11 inches tall. When she was a Playboy Playmate back in 1992, she was about 140 pounds. And her -- and the most that she ever weighed, according to our records, was 224 pounds.

And it was that TrimSpa diet that you will remember, Wolf, where she actually lost 70 pounds, a pretty profound weight loss, relatively short amount of time. That always raises a flag, I think, for any health care professional, as to what exactly, metabolically, was happening in her body at that time.

A couple of other pertinent pieces of medical history, antidepressants -- again, we have talked about this -- obviously, taken in -- in too large a quantity or in interaction with other medications, can be a problem.

And, most recently, she -- she had a C-section. Now, that was in September of 2006, so about four months ago now. She had a few problems after that C-section. Whether that had anything to do with this, probably not, but that's certainly something that I think physicians will have to consider, as well, as part of her overall medical history.

BLITZER: And the fact that she was going through this emotional roller coaster over these past several months, not only the legal ramifications, the legal problems she had involving her late husband's estate, but the -- the tragic death of her 20-year-old son, and, then, immediately after, the birth of a little girl.

And -- and she was going through two guys who were both claiming to be the father of this little girl. The emotional impact on a physically already frail person, that could -- that could seriously compound a lot of her health conditions.

GUPTA: Certainly.

You know, and I -- and I think that the -- the list that we -- that we think about, as physicians, as to what may cause death here, I still -- still think has to be cardiac, pulmonary, you know, heart and lung related.

But you're absolutely right. Could -- could these other things have sort of pushed one over the edge? And someone who is already having some difficulties, maybe already have some -- some problems with their heart or lungs as a result of something else, could these emotional problems and -- and -- and the medications, quite frankly, that are used to treat these emotional problems, somehow tip that over the edge?

You know, Wolf, sometimes, you don't ever really know the full answer. Even after an autopsy is done, you may not know for sure what happened. That is a possibility.

It's a little less likely in someone who is so young, because, typically, it's going to be something more obvious, either -- either the medications or some sort of cardiac problem or some sort of lung problem. But that -- that is something that, you know, you need to keep in the back of your mind, as well, that we may never have a definitive answer as to what exactly happened here.

BLITZER: All right, stand by, Sanjay. We are going to get back to you.

We are standing by, also, for a news conference over at the hospital in Hollywood, Florida. We expect some authorities from the hospital to emerge fairly soon and update us on what exactly they can update us on, what they know about the circumstances surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith.

I want to go back to the hospital. John Zarrella is on the scene for us.

John, our viewers here in the United States and around the world, on CNN International, who are now joining us, first of all, update them on what exactly we have learned over the past couple hours involving the sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith.

ZARRELLA: Well, what we learned just a few moments ago, of course, from the -- the news conferences that was held over at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino is that, at about 1:45, a bodyguard began administering CPR.

But it was a few minutes before that when a private nurse apparently discovered Anna Nicole Smith unconscious, and then notified the -- the -- the Hard Rock Casino immediately. And, again, at 1:45, a bodyguard began to administer CPR.

The Seminole Indian reservation there, they are the ones that ultimately transported her here to Hollywood Memorial Hospital.

Now, we were hearing just a few minutes ago, Wolf, that there will not be a press conference here in the next hour, that, perhaps, we are hearing that her family has requested that there be no comment here right now. We're trying to get a little bit more information on that.

But I do have with me Carlos Garcia (ph) and Michael Gray (ph).

And, Carlos (ph), you were one of the first to see the emergency vehicle, the paramedics, arrive with Anna Nicole Smith. What did you witness?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I witnessed the -- the ambulance come in. And I was just looking at it, because I was wondering, because there was only one guy with one camera. And he was on the phone, only one guy taking a picture.

So, I really didn't know it was her until after a while. But, then, I went back in into the waiting room. Then, I noticed that they said Anna Nicole Smith in -- in DiMaggio's Hospital.

So, I came back outside. And that is when I seen. But, before I seen her, she wasn't covered. When she came out, then, they had her covered.

ZARRELLA: What...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... there was security officers and everything there on the corner.

ZARRELLA: So, at first, you saw her in the -- the back of the -- the vehicle?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, because they opened it. And they backed -- they -- they opened it. They was helping her.

She was -- she was uncovered from, like, here. Her face was uncovered. And they were -- they were put -- doing, I guess, CPR or something on her chest. And, then -- then, they covered her as they were pulling her out.

ZARRELLA: Michael (ph), you saw about the same thing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And...

ZARRELLA: And what time was all this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At 10 -- 2:10. No.

ZARRELLA: Two...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, 2:10.

ZARRELLA: Ten minutes after 2:00 that -- is -- is when they -- when they...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

ZARRELLA: ... when they arrived here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we were -- yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, about...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And, then, that's when all I -- all -- all you see is her inside. And, then, we came inside. And we were sitting in the waiting room. And, then, we looked at the news. And we saw that she was in DiMaggio. So...

ZARRELLA: So, you -- you realized, at that point, that it was her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

ZARRELLA: And she was -- again, as both of you saw, she was covered when they actually removed her?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.

ZARRELLA: Thank you both very much for taking some time to join us.

(CROSSTALK)

ZARRELLA: So, again, Wolf, two more people who were here and -- and witnessed what happened did say that, by the time they removed her from the emergency vehicle, that Anna Nicole Smith's body was covered.

We are going to try and find out. But I did see the -- the fire rescue people over here a few minutes ago talking to a bunch of members of the media who gathered around. And the word that came out of that gathering was that there would not be a press conference here today, and that questions about what had happened were to be referred to the -- the family attorneys. That's what we are hearing.

We will try to get some more information on that -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And, in the meantime, though, there is a -- a huge gaggle of reporters and media that are flocking into where you are, getting ready for any little nuggets of information from the hospital that may emerge.

ZARRELLA: Right, Wolf. But, apparently, it's not going to be any official nuggets -- that's for sure -- at least what we're hearing right now.

It's going to have to be the nuggets and the piecemeal that we can get from -- from people who may have seen something. But, at this point, we have no indication now that Hollywood Fire Rescue, who we thought was going to -- to have a news conference, or the hospital, or anyone from the hospital, indications that any of them are going to be talking.

We -- we understand that her body is being transported, may already have been transported to the -- the Broward medical examiner's office.

And, again, to reiterate, we -- as you have been pointing out, and Dr. Gupta have been pointing out, that an autopsy expected to begin some time tomorrow. We do not know what time that autopsy will begin -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And -- and I know you have covered South Florida for a long time, John. Explain the jurisdictional issue between the casino, the Indian tribe -- we heard from the police chief there -- as opposed to regular Broward County, where Hollywood, Florida, is.

Who has authority in dealing with -- with the circumstances surrounding her death that was inside this Indian reservation at the casino?

ZARRELLA: Well, that's a good question.

Generally speaking, the -- the Seminole Indian tribe handles any kinds of issues within their jurisdiction, within their boundaries. Now, they can invite the -- the local authorities in. If it's some sort of a major capital case, for instance, an investigation, they may ask for help to come in, particularly because they don't have access to the medical examiners, et cetera, things like that, crime scene investigation.

But, overall, it is their -- their jurisdiction. It is part of the reservation. So, in most instances, they at least have the initial jurisdiction in any kind of a -- of a case -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And Susan Candiotti reporting that they expect the body to be transferred to the medical examiner, and an autopsy could take place as early as tomorrow. That's the latest information we have, right?

ZARRELLA: That's correct, Wolf. That's what we're hearing, too.

BLITZER: John Zarrella is on the scene for us.

We're going to continue to stay on top of this story and bring you the latest information as we get it -- once again, Anna -- Anna Nicole Smith dead.

I want to go back to John Zarrella.

Very briefly, John, as we wrap up our coverage on this sudden death, the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith, I take it, in the -- in the many years you have been covering Florida down there, you have never seen anything quite like this?

ZARRELLA: No.

This -- this really came out of the blue, Wolf. And, again, I don't think very many people knew -- you know, certainly not in mainstream -- knew that she was even in town here. Apparently, according to the -- the Seminole police, who held their news briefing, that she was here since Monday, and staying in the hotel room, I believe they said, on the sixth floor.

But, yes, this is -- this is quite an event here. It was quite a shock. It just came out of the blue, totally unexpected.

I -- you know, it's interesting. We are here at the -- you know, the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, which is here. And I think, you know, maybe the last time that I recall any kind of this kind of media attention, at least here in Hollywood, was in in fact when Joe DiMaggio himself passed away -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I remember that as well. JOhn, thanks. We're going to say with you as well.

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