Grainy video footage of paramedics working on the unresponsive body of Anna Nicole Smith turned up on the Internet and on German television Friday a day after the sudden death of the former Playboy model in Florida.
The brief video, shot by the Los Angeles-based Splash News and Picture Agency, captures Smith being wheeled on a stretcher Thursday from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Paramedics can be seen pumping her body as she is lifted on to an ambulance. One paramedic is seen operating an oxygen pump. She was pronounced dead in the hospital but the cause is yet to be determined.
Splash said it had sold the rights for $500,000 to a buyer it declined to identify. The footage showed up on several Internet sites and on German’s RTL TV channel.
Splash news editor Paul Tetley said he expected the footage to eventually fetch about $1 million.
“The first rights deal was for $500,000. It is a piece of footage that will continue to play and play because it was a moment of history,” he said in a telephone interview.
Tetley defended the selling of the footage. “It captures the vain battle to save her life. People want to know what happened,” he said.
“It was good journalism. We knew where she was staying, we sent in a team of photographers and cameras and we were in the right place at the right time,” he said.