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The Situation Room

Anna Nicole Smith Dies; Iran Shows Off New Missiles

Aired February 08, 2007 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, HOST: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
And it's happening right now -- an unexpected and mysterious death of a one time Playboy Playmate, billionaire's widow and tabloid fixture, Anna Nicole Smith.

We'll stay on top of the story.

Also, other important news -- threatening words and war games. Iran showing off missiles which can guard its nuclear sites and strike ships far out at sea, as the supreme leader warns of an all out response to any potential U.S. attack.

And Republican rivals step up their efforts to ground what's being called "Air Pelosi."

But guess who's stepping up to defend the Speaker's right to an Air Force jet?

I'm Wolf Blitzer.


And we're going to continue following the story that we've been following over the past hour or so.

Anna Nicole Smith, dead at the age of 39.

Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent, has been watching all of this unfold -- Sanjay, update our viewers on what we know.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we heard -- and there was a little press conference by the chief down there just a little bit ago -- at 1:38 there was a call by a private nurse, apparently, that was with Anna Nicole Smith activating the 911 system.

Seven minutes later, at 1:45, a bodyguard of Anna Nicole's was actually performing CPR. The paramedics apparently arrived and it was a very standard sequence of events which take place after that, including placing a breathing tube, including getting medications, sometimes a defibrillator, as well, trying to coax the heart back to a rhythm and simultaneously trying to transport someone to the hospital.

What we heard was it was at 2:49 that the hospital -- within the hospital -- she was actually pronounced dead.

And so there are some murky details, as well, Wolf. We're hearing from a few eyewitnesses that John Zarrella interviewed there at the scene that by the time she actually departed the ambulance, she was already covered and it did not look like there was any active resuscitation going on. That was about 2:10 p.m. Again, that's from some eyewitnesses there at the scene.

It is still somewhat murky, Wolf, somewhat hard to piece together. But it sounds like what happened here, we don't know how long she was down before the nurse actually called somebody.

Was she -- she was found down by this nurse or was she actually collapsed in front of the nurse?

That's going to be an important piece of information.

But there's all sorts of things that I think the physicians and the health care professionals are sort of thinking about when you hear a story like this. You think about, for example, cardiac problems.

Could this have been some sort of heart problem and what exactly caused the heart problem? Was it some sort of genetic anomaly? Was it due to medications, for example? Could this have been something like a pulmonary embolism, where a clot actually travels to the lungs? Could it have been a result of medication interactions or too much of a medication? Could it have been blood loss or infection?

We do hear that she may have had a fever, a high fever, last night, as well.

Could that have been some sort of a forewarner that this, in fact, was some sort of infection problem?

We don't know. And now we're just hearing, as you said, Wolf, that this is going to be an autopsy. It's going to be performed tomorrow. It could take a few days before we get any of those results back -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Sanjay, stand by.

John Zarrella is outside the hospital in Hollywood, Florida.

You're getting new information coming in to you.

What are you picking up -- John.

ZARRELLA: Yes, just a little bit of new information, Wolf.

We understand that the medical examiner's office is actually on the way here now to the hospital to pick up Anna Nicole Smith and then transport the body for the autopsy that will begin tomorrow.

We are also being told from Susan Candiotti, who's over at the Seminole Indian Casino and Reservation that the Broward Sheriff's Office was asked by the Seminole tribe to assist in the investigation. Again, going back to what we talked about earlier, simply because the resources at the disposal of the county, of the local municipalities still far greater than the police resources that they would -- that the Seminole Indian tribe has -- Wolf.

BLITZER: The nature of the hospital, what kind of hospital is it, the Hollywood Hospital, where you are right now?

ZARRELLA: Wolf, I'm sorry. I'm hearing a lot of interference from the control room here.

BLITZER: Well, I just want to get a sense...

ZARRELLA: Repeat that, please.

BLITZER: ... get a sense of this hospital in Hollywood where she -- the body was -- where she was brought and declared dead.

What kind of hospital is it?

ZARRELLA: Wolf, I'm going to try and give us a sense. Again, I have a lot of interference from the control room talking over and I can't hear a thing. Let me just turn -- Mike, just turn your shot and give the audience a view here.

So this would be the emergency, the ambulance area straight ahead of us. Emergency where she would have come in, where they would have been, you can see in the distance the, perhaps, the paramedics vehicle there. That's where Anna Nicole Smith probably was dropped off, brought out and brought into the hospital in the emergency area.

You know, you can still see some of the, you know, certainly the media all hanging here, waiting, again, as we all are, for any kind of information set up here where we expected that there would be a news briefing in the next half hour or so. But, again, being told just a little while ago by the police here and fire department here that, in fact, there would be no press briefing at all here today and that all questions are being referred, in fact, to attorneys representing Anna Nicole Smith's family -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Stand by, John.

Thank you very much.

Back in 1993, Anna Nicole Smith was a "Playboy" magazine Playmate of the Year. That made her very, very famous. We've just gotten in a statement from the "Playboy" founder, Hugh Hefner.

Let me read it to you: "I am very saddened to learn about Anna Nicole's passing. She was a dear friend who meant a great deal to the "Playboy" family and to me personally. My thoughts and prayers are with her friends and loved ones during this difficult time."

That statement from Hugh Hefner of "Playboy" magazine.

I want to also play this little clip of what she said to our Larry King a few years back about "Playboy" magazine and the role it played in her life.

Listen to this.


LARRY KING, HOST: Were you a model before applying to "Playboy" to take your picture?


KING: What made you do that, to -- to...

SMITH: Because I wanted to become a model and an actress. So I thought well, I would go there. But I -- I chickened out four times before I did that, though. And it was really scary.


BLITZER: Anna Nicole Smith speaking to our Larry King a couple of years ago.

Larry is going to do a whole hour on this tragic death later tonight, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Nancy Grace has been watching this story unfolded, as well.

She's joining us now -- and, Nancy, give us some of your thoughts, what you're looking at as you've been watching this story break down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think we may have lost her.


BLITZER: Oh, Nancy, are you there?

Yes, go ahead.

I was just wondering if you had some thoughts now on some of the legal aspects of what may happen now.

GRACE: Right. I really do. And we haven't been just watching it, we've been covering it from the very beginning. And we'll be devoting an hour on the show tonight, at 8:00 Eastern over on "Headline."

Wolf, an emerging legal issue right now is apparently Larry Birkhead, the photographer who claims to be the biological father of Anna Nicole Smith's new little girl, Dannielynn, is filing an emergency order for custody of the little girl.

Now, as you know, Anna Nicole Smith claimed her boyfriend/husband was the father, lawyer Howard Stern.

That's all up in the air tonight. So count on another legal battle to ensue regarding custody of Dannielynn. This is all in the wake of a similar death of her son, 20-year-old Daniel.

So right now we understand from reports that police are searching her hotel room for drugs. Another legal issue which will impact the little girl is insurance. A lot of insurance policies, Wolf, suicide and murder do not allow recovery. And in her case, there might well have been a special clause on these issues.

So that's a legal battle to be ensued by her estate.

BLITZER: Where does the paternity issue stand as to the biological father of Dannielynn, this little girl?

GRACE: Well, where it stands right now is that the alleged biological father, Larry Birkhead, claims he's the dad. He is demanding a DNA test for paternity to show he's the dad. For some reason, Anna Nicole Smith has been fighting that paternity test for months now. It will happen. There will be a DNA paternity test to show who is the father.

And I recall having Anna Nicole Smith's mother on our show, Virgie Arthur, and she was very disturbed if Howard Stern married Anna Nicole Smith and she ends up dead, the son, Danny, who recently died, she was very concerned about Anna Nicole Smith's future. And that was a very chilling premonition months ago, and, in fact, has come true.

Now this child is left without a mother, Wolf.

BLITZER: Is it a foregone conclusion, according to the law, that we assume there's going to be a paternity test now that the biological father would have -- would have -- would take control, would be able to be the father of this little girl?

GRACE: Well, it would be a huge legal battle. In a lot of jurisdictions, the husband under matrimony, which arguably is Howard Stern, the lawyer -- I'm not sure if that was a valid and legal wedding there in the Bahamas.

Remember when they jumped off the boat into the water to celebrate their vows?

It's going to be a contest as to whether that was a legal marriage. In a lot of jurisdictions, Wolf, if there is a legal marriage and a child is born during the marriage, it is presumed that is the father.

That's not so in this case. The child was born before the marriage and he's got this biological contender. So there will be a custody suit.

And don't be confused. There's a lot more at stake other than just who will raise the little girl. If Anna Nicole Smith's estate comes into the millions of dollars from her late husband, there's a lot of money to be controlled by the actual and legal father of this little infant.

It's going to be a legal battle extraordinaire. And one more thing, Wolf.

A lot of people said Anna Nicole Smith shouldn't get all that money from her husband and I think that was a moral judgment on Anna Nicole. People didn't like the way she dressed, the "Playboy," the this, the that.

The reality is he wedded her fair and square under the law. She was his wedded wife. That changes everything, whether we like the way she lived or not.

BLITZER: Because we're talking, potentially, hundreds of millions of dollars at stake right now.

And let me just get this straight. I want to just clarify it for our viewers, Nancy. The two potential fathers who have been mentioned, Howard K. Stern, her lawyer, the man she married, the man she claims was the father of this little girl, Dannielynn; as opposed to Larry Birkhead, a photographer who claims he fathered this little girl.

Is that right?

GRACE: That's absolutely correct. And, yes, Wolf, I know it's very confusing and it's especially confusing in the wake of Anna Nicole Smith's death. But, you know, everybody keeps talking about the "Playboy" centerfold and that she was tawdry and had loose morals. That is highly irrelevant as to this legal battle. And at stake is a multi-million dollar empire embodied in a little girl that's about four or five months old.

BLITZER: Stand by for a moment, Nancy.

Larry King is on the phone, as well, with us -- Larry, I know you've done a lot of work on this case and these two men who both claim to the be the father of this little girl. You're going to be doing a whole show on this later tonight.

But talk a little bit about this dispute which, as Nancy accurately points out, could have enormous ramifications not only for the custody battle of this little girl, but for hundreds of millions of dollars that she will now lead.

LARRY KING, HOST: Yes, I've interviewed extensively both of these gentlemen, Howard K. -- Howard Stern on the night that he announced that he was the father. And then they subsequently got married. We had him on that.

And then I just had the other gentleman, Larry, on last week. And he showed a bunch of pictures and stuff of him with her and they apparently had a very serious relationship and he downplayed the whole part of the Stern matter.

That's going to be a royal battle.

Now, she had delayed any kind of DNA, had fought taking a DNA, with Larry -- Larry here was fighting for. I don't know how that's going to be resolved.

I think eventually we will find out whose daughter this is.

And where all that money is going to go, who knows?

It's in the Supreme Court of Texas, where it got thrown back from the Supreme Court of the United States. That's all legalistics and, it's a very involved matter. There's a bankruptcy involved, too, as well.

BLITZER: Well, there's a little baby girl at the center of all of this right now.

And, Nancy, who, in the short-term, do you suspect will have custody and take care of this little girl now that her mother is dead?

GRACE: Well, for right now, I imagine it's going to be Howard Stern, her long time lawyer and confidante, her companion. Again, I'm not sure and do not believe that the Bahama wedding was a legal wedding in the eyes of the law.

That will be the first issue. The second issue, as Larry said, is this paternity issue. And that will be determined. I know Anna Nicole fought it, but there's going to be an autopsy. And tissues, blood, DNA samples are going to be taken. There will be a DNA paternity test.

If Birkhead wins that, he will get the little girl and possibly control of that financial empire.

Now hold on -- let me throw a monkey wrench in the works, a legal monkey wrench.

What if neither one is the biological dad?

Then all eyes will turn to Virgie Arthur, who is Anna Nicole's maternal -- is her mother.

BLITZER: The grandmother, in other words, of this little girl. And you're saying that she could take custody under those kinds of circumstances and neither -- if neither of these two men are proven to be the biological father?

GRACE: Absolutely. I mean the child is only a couple of months old.

BLITZER: Well, what happens, Nancy, if it's shown that Howard K. Stern and Anna Nicole Smith did, in fact, have a legal marriage?

GRACE: Well, under the law, that could affect the outcome. That would give him a lot more weight in court to get control, to get custody of Dannielynn, the little girl. But in any event, I've got a very strong feeling that whatever court hears this is going to appoint a guardianship, a guardian ad litem to look over her financial affairs, the little girl, and to take care of her financially regardless of who she ends up living with. BLITZER: Larry, this is obviously not only a mystery, the circumstances surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith, but a human tragedy certainly compounded now by the fact that there's this little baby girl, who was only born a few months ago in the Bahamas now. And a lot of people are going to be worried about her.

KING: She is the focal point now. Of course, one of these guys will -- I think -- I'm pretty sure that one of them is the father. But this girl is -- she's the one without a mother, with a father we don't know who is the father. She might be a very, very wealthy little girl someday. But the tragedy is the whole story -- the son sitting by the hospital bed, he keels over and dies, right after his little sister is born.

And then the mother puts up with this tragedy apparently on the road to recovery, trying to do better, and what happens?

She goes to Hollywood, Florida and dies of some mysterious ailment.

You couldn't write this as fiction.

You know, Anna Nicole Smith was a very interesting woman. I interviewed her a lot. You know, she saw herself -- fashioned herself as kind of a Marilyn Monroe and looked like Marilyn Monroe, was as pretty as Marilyn Monroe. And in a sense, if you think about it, Wolf, similarities in death -- a strange death in both cases.

BLITZER: And even to this day, so many years after Marilyn Monroe's death, there are still questions out there involving those circumstances.

But, Larry, talk a little bit about her health. The fact that we are now told there was a private nurse at this casino hotel in Hollywood, Florida, that -- a nurse who was with her -- with indicate she was going undergoing some serious heart problems.

KING: Good point. If you have a nurse with you in a hotel room, something's the matter. I didn't even know she had left the Bahamas to be in Florida and then to have a nurse with you. Of course we were all speculating as to what could have caused the death and we will not know that until, obviously, there's an autopsy.

But why is a nurse with someone?

If a nurse is with you, there's got to be some problem. Good point, Wolf.

BLITZER: Nancy, what about the law right now?

Obviously mysterious circumstances. We heard from the police chief in the Seminole -- the Seminole Tribe just a little while ago. Under routine procedures, I assume there's going to be a full scale investigation of the circumstances surrounding her death.

GRACE: Yes, it's my understanding that the autopsy will be performed tomorrow. And it's also my understanding that it was that private nurse that Larry just brought up to you that found Anna Nicole Smith unconscious in the hotel room.

So she will immediately become a witness in all these proceedings and believe you me, it will go to court in one fashion or the other. But, yes, it is a full scale investigation. Apparently police searching the hotel room as we speak. And the autopsy set for tomorrow.

BLITZER: You knew, Larry, Anna Nicole Smith. You interviewed her on many occasions.

Tell us about -- a little bit about this woman.

KING: Not the smartest person in the world, but she had a lot of savvy. She had a period in her life where she really drank too much. In fact, one night, frankly, was on our show while inebriated. That was when she was way overweight.

In fact, "Saturday Night Live" took that clip and instead of parodying it, they just did it as it happened. They replayed it as it actually occurred on the air.

So she went -- she had a lot of ups and downs and -- but she was, at heart, I thought she was a wonderful girl. She had a tremendous sense of humor. Could laugh at himself, which a lot of people in show business can't do. She had that ability to laugh at herself. She was easy to be around.

As I said, when she had her bad drinking period, she was hard to be around. But at all other times she was fine. And I thought she had really come through this, having this little girl and then the boy dies. I gave her a lot.

You know, but as my wife points out, celebrities often do detox. And they're assisted by private nurses at home, right, Nancy?

GRACE: Oh, yes.

KING: So there's a -- this could be a situation, too.

Could she have been -- is there any hint of drugs involved here or is it too soon, Wolf?

BLITZER: We have not received any word of what medications she was taking, what they found on the scene. The police chief simply didn't get into any of that. He said he wasn't there in her room at the time. But I'm sure that the authorities are looking into all of that.

Larry, I want to play a little clip of an interview you did with Anna Nicole Smith back in 2004 in which she openly, very candidly spoke about her weight problems.

Listen to this.


KING: Do you know why you put on weight? Do you know why yourself?


KING: Was it due to depression?

NICOLE SMITH: It was -- it was the depression from reliving the trials from -- from my husband.

KING: Yes.

NICOLE SMITH: 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 cared. I just heard crap all the time about me.

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

NICOLE SMITH: No. I was not worried about my health at all. I was not worried about my health losing the weight. I'm kind of worried about it now, because I think I've gained a little bit more.


BLITZER: That's a chilling little comment from her, Larry.

You remember that interview. And she ballooned. She was -- she's a tall -- she was a tall woman, about 5'11," we're told. She weighed about 130, 140 pounds when she was a "Playboy" Playmate of the Year but then she ballooned up to well over 220 pounds, which is an enormous weight increase.

KING: I remember one night, a sad night at the "Vanity Fair" party before the Academy -- right after the Academy Awards at -- "Vanity Fair" holds this party at Morton's restaurant every year. And she was there at the height of her overweight and she was really drinking and it was embarrassing. I mean she was -- you know, you felt uncomfortable for her. She was walking around the bar and she was loud.

And I don't like to remember her that way, because, Wolf, when you look at that face, she is a gorgeous girl. I mean she was flawless.

BLITZER: Yes. And, obviously, Hugh Hefner and everybody at "Playboy" magazine back in '93 thought exactly the same thing.

Nancy, I have a sound bite, a sound clip of an interview you did with Anna Nicole Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur. And I want to play that because that occurred shortly after the death of her 20-year-old son, again, under rather mysterious circumstances.

I want you, Nancy, to listen to this. I want our viewers to listen and watch. And then I want to talk about it with you.


OCTOBER 12, 2006)

GRACE: Even though you're concerned about the death of Daniel, I can see that you -- what would you say to her tonight if you -- if you could speak to her?

VIRGIE ARTHUR, ANNA NICOLE'S MOTHER: Vickie Lynn, you know I love you. I always have. And be very careful about who you hang around with, because you may be next.


BLITZER: Virgie Arthur, the mother of Anna Nicole Smith.

You remember that interview, Nancy?

GRACE: I remember it very well and I have no doubt in my mind that Anna Nicole Smith's mother Virgie still, to this day, love her very, very much. They had deep and long running mother-daughter problems. They were not in contact for many, many years.

But, you know, the mom was being very, very over protective. There was no suggestion whatsoever that her 20-year-old son Daniel died by homicide. Yes, there was a mixture of drugs in his system, but there was no such suggestion.

Of course, police are going to have to look at that possibility with both Daniel and Anna Nicole Smith, but before I would point the finger of guilt at anybody, there's got to be a long investigation before that.

BLITZER: When she said to you, the mother of Anna Nicole Smith, "You may be next," what do you think she was referring to?

GRACE: Well, I mean she made it very clear that she was referring to Howard Stern. I mean there wasn't any doubt about who she was referring to. She was definitely referring to Anna's fraternization with her long time lawyer and companion, Howard Stern.

She as somehow suggesting that Stern was responsible for the death of her son Daniel. And I think she was being over protective, very, very protective of Anna Nicole Smith.

And today's events are only going to add to that.

BLITZER: Howard K. Stern, her attorney and her lover and her husband, at least according to one marriage that took place in the Bahamas. Larry King is still with us -- Larry, some of our viewers could get confused hearing the name Howard Stern. We're talking about a lawyer and nothing, obviously, to do with the radio disk jockey.

KING: No. They're -- they just have -- they just have the same I guess -- a lot of people not knowing might be a little confused. But I've known Howard a long time. He's been her confidante, suspected lover, although the other guy thinks that he was not her lover.

But, yes, Howard Stern is not the other -- not the Howard Stern of Sirius Radio.

BLITZER: Right. He's not the radio personality. This is Howard K. Stern, a very different individual, who's had this longstanding relationship with Anna Nicole Smith.

You've met him.

Talk a little bit about him.

KING: He's an interesting guy. He's a -- when we had him on the night that he announced he was the father, it was very shortly after the young boy died. And so he was very depressed. He was very close to Anna Nicole Smith's son. That's obvious. I guess that clip is around. I'm sure we'll play it tonight. I see him on the screen there.

He was an interesting guy. He's not the -- not the bell of the ball, not a laugh riot, kind of an inward person, a very interesting man to be around who is just -- was totally in love with Anna Nicole Smith.

BLITZER: All right, Larry, stand by.

Nancy Grace, I want you to weigh in on that point, as well, the relationship that Anna Nicole Smith had with these two individuals, these two men, both of whom claim to be the father of this little baby girl.

GRACE: Well, here's the reality, Wolf. Howard Stern, not the radio Howard Stern, the lawyer Howard Stern -- and anybody that has seen reality TV saw him on multiple episodes of her when Anna Nicole Smith had her reality show.

He has been with her for years. Just like Larry said, Larry King is correct, Stern had been with her for years and years and years, totally smitten.

I'm not sure of Anna Nicole Smith's return of being smitten, how she felt back. I don't know if it was requited or unrequited love. But she did, in fact, marry him in a ceremony down in the Bahamas.

He was with her for years and stuck by her through all the ups and downs of her legal battles. This other guy, Larry Birkhead, I believe they did have a romantic relationship. He is a younger guy, a photographer. And it's not beyond the realm of imagination, Wolf, to think she had a fling. A lot of people do it. And then here comes a baby.

The long story short, as romantic as it all may seem, it's going to end up in a court of law.

BLITZER: Why do you -- and some have suggested, Nancy, that there could be questions about the validity of that marriage in the Bahamas.

If somebody gets married, whether in the Bahamas or in Hollywood, Florida, what's the difference?

GRACE: Well, I can go out on Third Avenue get married to a cab driver and I can have a street vendor perform the marriage, but that doesn't make it legal. So the reality is you've got to get a marriage license. You have to follow the rules of the jurisdiction.

BLITZER: And are there suggestions that didn't happen in the Bahamas?

GRACE: Yes. There are suggestions that while they went through with a ceremony of sorts, that it was not a valid marriage that will be upheld in a court of law. And that may have a great deal of legal weight when it comes to custody of the little girl.

BLITZER: Not only custody of the little girl, but also the hundreds of millions of dollars, potentially, that could be involved in an estate.

GRACE: That's right, because the U.S. Supreme Court, just a few months ago, ruled in Anna Nicole Smith's favor that she could continue to battle for her late husband's millions of dollars. And her chief contender with whom she was duking it out are her husband's son, adult son, is dead.

So now it's going to be estate versus estate with the little girl held in the limbo.

BLITZER: Nancy, I know you've got to get ready for your show tonight on "HEADLINE NEWS," 8:00 p.m. I know Nancy is going to be devoting a full hour to this subject, as well.

Thank you very much for coming in and helping us better understand this story.

Larry King is still with us -- Larry, as you've accurately pointed out, you know, fiction writers, they can't make this kind of stuff up.

KING: Yes.

BLITZER: This is really an incredible twist, given the fact that only last September her 20-year-old son died under somewhat mysterious circumstances. She had a little baby girl almost exactly around the same time and now this.

KING: Yes, Wolf. There's a -- this would be -- I think if you submitted it as a novel, it would be rejected based on the fact that it doesn't -- it doesn't follow any logic. The whole thing is just strange and we may never get all the answers and it's just so sad.

And we're going to -- I've got to run, too, Wolf.

But we're going to devote a whole hour to it tonight, as well. We'll have clips of past interviews. I'm sure we'll have the clip with -- with Howard Stern, as well.

BLITZER: We'll be watching, Larry.

Thank you very much.

"LARRY KING LIVE" airs 9:00 p.m. He's going to be devoting his entire program to that -- to this subject tonight, as well, here on CNN.

Anna Nicole Smith suddenly dead in Hollywood, Florida.

Jeffrey Toobin is with us, our senior legal analyst -- the legal ramifications, Jeffrey, you're standing by. Sanjay Gupta, are chief medical correspondent, is with us as well. But let's talk about some of these legal ramifications of this sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith, 39 years old.

She was found in this casino, the Hard Rock Casino, on the Seminole Reservation in Hollywood, Florida, and all of a sudden rushed to a hospital, pronounced dead just about an hour or so after that initial 911 call.

Talk a little bit about the legal aspects of what's going on.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SR. LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, earlier, Sanjay made a list of the possible medical causes that it could have been, why someone in her position or condition might have suddenly died in a hotel room. I guess it shows the perspective I come from.

The two questions a medical examiner is going ask -- is going to want to know, are, was it a homicide, was it a suicide? Those are two things that you always look at.

BLITZER: Or another possibility, natural causes.

TOOBIN: Right. Of course. That's right. If it's not on Sanjay's list of natural causes, the issue is, is it a homicide, is it a suicide?

And it's very important now that the police and the people who found her in the hotel room look at the hotel room. What's there? I mean, that is obviously going to be critical evidence.

You know, were there prescription medicines? The private duty nurse that you've been discussing, you know, what did he or she see? That is going to be critical evidence in determining the cause of death.

At that point, you have to look -- you know, again, I have no evidence of this, but one thing you look at is, was there a suicide note? If there was one, that leads you in one direction. If there was no note, you know, that leads you in another.

So that's the first thing. Then you start dealing with the question of what happens to her estate? Where does the money go?

And one question you have to ask is, was there a will? Did she have a will? She was 39 years old. Most people in their 30s don't have wills.

Given her complex financial situations, she may have had one, she may not. But that is going to be something that's going to be an obvious question to see -- start to see where the money goes.

BLITZER: And the other legal issues, a very significant legal issue, custody of this little -- little girl who was born only a few months ago, and what happens to her.

TOOBIN: Absolutely. And that may -- I mean, if she has a will, sometimes the question of custody is dealt with in a will.

Obviously, the issue of who the father is will have to be settled. Anna Nicole Smith was reluctant to have a DNA test over the last -- last few months of her life. But at this point, there's no doubt that there's going to have to be a DNA test to see who the father is. That will be one factor, a major factor and plays out with who has custody of her little daughter.

And that is, of course, related to the question of who gets the money. Again, if she died with a will or without a will.

If she died without a will, Florida law will kick in. It's called dying in testate. That means dying without a will. Florida law has a -- all states have a system of dividing the assets of someone who dies without a will. That will be involved.

You can be sure that given the fact that her assets are not even settled at this point, that litigation is still ongoing in Texas, it's going to take a long time to resolve.

BLITZER: The whole notion of the fact that she didn't want to have a DNA, a paternity test done, that would seem to suggest she wasn't exactly sure who would win this paternity test. I guess that's the immediate conclusion that a lot of people would raise.

TOOBIN: That's one conclusion. But Wolf, I assure you, I would not want to presume what was in Anna Nicole's mind. I mean, that is beyond my expertise. That is one conclusion you could draw.

I mean, her life was just so tumultuous. I mean, you know, she just suffered the loss of her grown son right in front of her at the time that her little daughter was born. And, you know, to say that she's had a chaotic life over the past few years is an understatement. But, you know, at this point, now that she's gone, I mean, there is certainly going to be a DNA test. And that will be one major factor in determining first, as you say, custody, and then the allocation of her assets.

BLITZER: But I just want you to weigh in on this point, as Nancy Grace -- she made the point that even if the marriage that she had with her long-time attorney in the Bahamas is proven -- proven to be legal, Howard K. Stern, that doesn't necessarily mean that he would be granted custody if the paternity test shows that this other man, this photographer, Larry Birkhead, was in fact the biological father.

That would raise I guess a big legal question.

TOOBIN: It is. You know, this is so complicated. And, you know, you want to make sure you realize that this is not a law school hypothetical. These are real people with real tragedies in their lives. But you're right that the complexity is enormous.

Whether the marriage is real or not is one factor to consider. It is probably less important to a court, and certainly less important to a court, than who is the father. That's going to be the key factor in determining custody of this girl, who is the father?

BLITZER: The biological.

TOOBIN: The biological father. So that's -- that test will be done, I assume, relatively soon, because, you know, this is 4-month- old girl. Somebody's got to take care of her.

BLITZER: But what if she had a will saying she wants Howard K. Stern to have custody of her child?

TOOBIN: That is something which -- which would probably override the DNA test. If you die with a will that says, I want the custody of my minor children to go to X person, in all courts that I'm familiar with, that's the factor that the courts look to above all, unless there's some reason to put the will aside.

So, if there's -- you know, the first question is, is there a will? And the second question is, what does the will say about custody of her daughter?

BLITZER: Good questions. And we don't have the answers to any of those.

The whole notion, though, right now, with the immediate period, who has custody of this little girl, the court, I assume someone will make that determination for at least the short term.

TOOBIN: Well, you know, I don't know where the girl is now, but we're talking about a baby. Somebody's got to take care of this child tonight. Not -- I mean not -- you know, this isn't an abstract issue.

Someone has got to take care of her tonight. I assume that if the baby was with Anna Nicole, or, you know, around -- or in a different hotel room, in the same hotel, the state of Florida would step in. You know, the Department of Children's Services, that's the kind of thing they do.

But that's not a long-term solution but, you know, we are talking about practically an infant. So, this is matter that has to be settled, you know, not, you know, when the legal system gets around to it. It has to be settled tonight, at least for the short term.

BLITZER: Stand by for a moment, because I want you to join me in some questioning. We have a guest who's joining us on the phone.

Rusty Hardin, he's the attorney representing the estate of Pierce Marshall, the -- he was 67 years old when he passed away, the son of Anna Nicole Smith's late husband.

Mr. Hardin, give us your thoughts at this time. What's going on?

RUSTY HARDIN, ATTORNEY: Well, it's way too early for me to even guess what's going to happen in terms of other claims on behalf of the child or so. You know, this is totally unexpected obviously for everybody. And any time someone passes that early in their life and particularly leave a child like that, it's tragic whether you're on the other side of a lawsuit or not.

I don't have any idea myself. I just would be guessing if I predicted what the outcome would be in the future. No doubt somebody will be making claims on the behalf of the child, but I have no idea where it would be, what courts would have it, or anything.

BLITZER: Jeffrey Toobin is with us, Mr. Hardin. I know he has a question that he wants to ask you.

And just want to make sure our viewers understand, Mr. Hardin represents the estate of Pierce Marshall. Pierce Marshall was the son of Anna Nicole Smith's late husband, J. Howard Marshall, who left hundreds of millions of dollars in that estate.

Jeffrey, go ahead.

TOOBIN: Mr. Hardin, I just wanted to know, how much money is still in the estate, approximately, and who has control over the money now? Where is it now?

HARDIN: Well, we have presented to the federal court that (INAUDIBLE).

Federal district court reduced a $475 (ph) million bankruptcy judgment on behalf of Anna Nicole's $88 million, and that's what's on appeal and resting before the 9th circuit now. We have represented to the court that there is enough in that estate to satisfy that judgment if the 9th circuit openly affirms it, but that's about as far as we'd go as to much how money is in it.

There's enough to satisfy the claim if the 9th circuit ever decides it's a legitimate claim, which we, of course, hope they won't. TOOBIN: Now, Anna Nicole's adversary in the litigation before the Supreme Court was the son of her late husband. That's your -- that was your client, right?

HARDIN: That's right.

TOOBIN: The son. Who's carrying on his interests? Because the son has died since the Supreme Court litigation.

HARDIN: His wife.

TOOBIN: His wife?

HARDIN: In his will -- his wife. He left everything in his will to his wife, and then upon her death everything goes to his two sons to be divided equally. She is designated by the court as the estate's personal representative. She's now stepped into his shoes.

TOOBIN: So, the posture of the litigation now is Anna Nicole Smith against the wife, the daughter-in-law of her late husband. Is that right?

HARDIN: That's right. Yes.

TOOBIN: OK. And now, we don't -- what customarily happens in a dispute over a will when one party dies as Anna Nicole Smith has died?

HARDIN: Well, there really isn't a dispute over a will. Remember, J. Howard Marshall did not have a will. She claimed that she had an oral agreement with him in his lifetime in which he promised her half. And that's what's been litigated.

He never put her in his will. He specifically intended to leave her out.

TOOBIN: But there is...

HARDIN: But she has always contended he left her half of -- half of everything he had, she claims.

TOOBIN: So this -- but this litigation...


HARDIN: The federal district court ruled later that, no, that only comes to $88 million, not half of the entire estate. And that's what before the 9th Circuit.

TOOBIN: So the case before the 9th Circuit, presumably the party in the case now, now that Anna Nicole Smith is dead, the party will be her estate? They'll continue...

HARDIN: That would be my assumption.

TOOBIN: Really?

HARDIN: That's certainly what we did in Pierce's case. And I assume that's what they'll do in hers. But I don't know.

TOOBIN: But in order to have an estate, you have to know whether the person died with a will, right?

HARDIN: That's right. And we don't really know anything about -- I don't know anything about Anna Nicole's personal affairs. So I have no idea, you know, what her situation was or anything.

TOOBIN: Well, Wolf...


TOOBIN: I think we have established there's a lot of legal uncertainty out there.

BLITZER: I think you're right.

HARDIN: I think there is. And the thing you have to remember, all the U.S. Supreme Court said was -- the federal court said the jurisdiction should deal with the issue, then they sent it back down to the 9th Circuit.

Now, besides the merits of her claims in the appeal, we have no idea what the 9th Circuit will ultimately hold. Their choice is to say the district court was wrong and vacate the $88 million, or to confirm the $88 million. But that is hearsay.

If they affirm it, who gets it? And I don't have an answer for that. We hope they don't affirm it.

BLITZER: This will be a case, I'm sure, that law students will be studying in years to come, I think it's fair to say. Only lawyers can appreciate what exactly you're talking about.

But I want to thank Rusty Hardin for joining us as well.

Jeffrey, stand by.

Carol Costello is watching this story with us.

Carol, what are you picking up?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we're getting statements in about Anna Nicole Smith. This is from her sister. Her sister's name is Donna Hogan, and I'll read you the last graph of her statement about her sister.

She says, "We feel that the death of her son left her deeply saddened, a sadness she hid from everyone. As a mother of three children, I am anguished by this tragic event and the fact that her new baby daughter Dannielynn Hope is now without a mother."

You know, there's not much people don't know about Anna Nicole Smith. And you probably know that she was estranged from her sister, estranged from her family back in Texas. And indeed, Donna mentions it in the first paragraph in her statement, saying, "We know we had our differences with Anna Nicole Smith, but she was our blood and we'll be missed terribly."

Back to you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Carol, thank you.

Carol's going to be monitoring statements and other information coming in on this case.

Sibila Vargas is joining us now from Los Angeles.

Sibila, you've been checking with your sources as well. What are you picking up?

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Well, I have a statement from co-chief executive and co-chair officer of Guess. Now, Guess is, of course, the contract that she got shortly after she posed for "Playboy". This man noticed her and she was just gorgeous, and I think myself, my generation, people of my generation, got to see the first ad of Anna Nicole Smith in some of these magazines.

And this is what he has to say about her.

"This is a very tragic and sad day. Personally, I feel she did not survive the loss of her son Daniel, who was the love of her life."

Short, but certainly sweet. And again, Paul Marciano, one of the first people to discover Anna Nicole Smith. And had it not been for Paul Marciano, we may have not known Anna Nicole the way she is right now.


BLITZER: We'll stay with -- thank you very much, Sibila, very much.

And I want to back to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent.

Sanjay, a lot of our viewers know you're a neurosurgeon, certified, but you're also a chief -- you're also a medical investigator as well. You're certified to investigate causes of death.

So talk a little bit about, from that perspective, what you see unfold right now.


And, you know, whenever you approach a situation like this, common things are common. And obviously, you don't look for zebras when there's a bunch of horses sort of in the field. So you want to think about the things that are most likely to have caused death in a relatively young person.

Jeffrey Toobin was recently just talking about was it a homicide versus suicide? Certainly that's a question, but what ultimately causes the death is what these certified medical investigators, the examiners are all going to be looking at. And you look at cardiac problems.

Heart problems have to be at the top of the list overall, whether it was caused as a result of a suicide, taking too many pills, or something like that, or something else. That's unclear.

Obviously, we don't know. We don't even know that it was heart related. But you have to be thinking about the heart as possible cause of death. You also have to think about the lungs, could it have been something like a pulmonary embolism.

We've heard a lot about this possibility of a fever last night. Could that have been some sort of forewarning of an infection?

Was there blood loss? Was there something else going on? These are the sorts of things that you have to think about as a certified medical investigator.

Now, also, you have to examine the scene to find out, for example, if there is anything obvious there. Was there any obvious trauma, for example, to the body? Was there anything in the room, perhaps, that would suggest that there was an overdose or something else that had happened?

There's all sorts of clues that you can try and pick up. Again, we know at 1:38, there was a call by a private nurse actually activating the 911 system. Why was a private nurse there?

At 1:45 CPR had started. That was seven minutes later. Why was it started at that time? Had it been going on all along?

How long was Anna Nicole down before she was actually transported by the paramedics? And what exactly happened in that intervening hour? Because it was at 2:49 that we hear that she was actually declared dead.

So there are lots of different clues in there. You have to sort of piece them together. And I think more information obviously is going to come out over the next day or so -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Well, is the science that perfect that an autopsy will absolutely, positively determine the cause of death?

GUPTA: That's a great question, and the answer is no. There is a chance, although I think less than a chance in someone who is younger, because usually it's going to be more obvious as to what caused death here. But there is a chance that there may be no definitive reason, no cause of death in someone like this.

The autopsy may not sort of unfold anything that sort of strikes the certified medical examiner as saying this is definitely the case. So, it may be difficult.

Keep in mind a couple of other things as well. She has a well- known health history. She's had multiple operations, for example.

She had a breast enlargement, she had complications after that. She most recently had a C-section. She had some problems after that as well.

She has a history of depression, she was taking medications. She had been checked in for rehab back in 1995.

There's lot of different considerations here. You have to try and start piecing these things together.

Did the antidepressant use -- could that have somehow made her heart a little bit more susceptible to a problem? Who knows?

She was on these TrimSpa diet. At the time she was taking that, TrimSpa -- a lot of people know she was a spokesperson for that company -- Ephedra was one of the substances sometimes found in TrimSpa, and it wasn't banned at that time.

Could that have had some -- some affect on her heart as well? We don't know.

We do know that she lost close to 70 pounds in eight months, which is a lot. So there's all sorts of -- there's the metabolic, there's the cardiac, there's the pulmonary, there's the possible toxicology, there's the possible infection. All of these things parts of puzzles right now. Got to piece them together over the next days -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And we also know, Sanjay, that she had a history of pain -- she was addicted to painkillers, actually checked into the Betty Ford Clinic in the mid 1990s for treatment. Certainly that's something that's a serious medical problem.

GUPTA: Yes. You certainly have to think about that. And I was hearing Nancy Grace just a little bit ago on your show talking about her son as well, who subsequently -- he died and they found an overdose of methadone, Zoloft and Lexapro in his system.

That was her son, obviously, and that caused...

BLITZER: Her 20-year-old son who died in the Bahamas.

GUPTA: That's right, and that was back in September of last year. Those three medications together in sufficient doses can cause cardiac arrhythmia as well. One of those is a pain medication, one of those is an anxiety medication, and one of those is an antidepressant, Wolf.

They're available. They're prescription medications.

BLITZER: So this is obviously a complex medical history that she has, all of which may have been related to her sudden death today. On the other hand, something totally outside of her medical history may have played a factor. GUPTA: Yes, that's absolutely right. I mean, sometimes people -- and she was relatively young, not even 40 years old. Could she have had some sort of genetic problem with her heart that had never caused her a problem up until today? That's a possibility. We hear about those things quite a bit.

Also, something like a pulmonary embolism. A lot of people hear about pulmonary embolisms. These are these clots that are in the legs and they travel to the lungs. We don't know that that's what caused it, but you've certainly got to keep all these things on your radar screen as you start to hone in on the most likely cause of death.

BLITZER: And as you correctly point out, when they do the autopsy, they'll have to weigh all of the scientific evidence there, together with the forensic evidence, the physical evidence, the medication, the other circumstances that may have been involved in that hotel room at that casino.

GUPTA: Absolutely. And one of things -- you know, again, common things being common, they probably have taken blood. They're going to do a toxicology screen on that. That can tell with pretty good accuracy what substances were actually in the system, in the blood at the time of her death.

They're probably going to examine the heart. Again, this is something that you have to look at in a young person who has sudden death.

They're going to look at the lungs as well. So you've got to sort of focus in on the common areas.

But again, Wolf, a possibility all of those things come back negative, the heart is normal, the lungs are normal. We may not have a definitive answer.

BLITZER: But they do have one huge potential bonanza; namely, a private nurse who we're told was in that room at the time.

GUPTA: Yes, and that was a little -- I heard that press conference, like you did, Wolf. It was a little bit confusing.

I'm not sure if this was a private nurse that was traveling with her, or was maybe a private nurse from the hotel. She apparently, by some reports, had a high fever last night.

Was she ill enough to actually get some nursing care in her room, throughout the day today? I don't know. Or had she been sick for a longer period of time?

We're not hearing those details. But you're right, it sounds like there was something else going on. I don't know that she travels with a nurse all the time, or perhaps she does. I'm just not clear on that. But you're right, I think the better sense of prudence would suggest that perhaps there was already some sort of medical illness that she was dealing with at the time. BLITZER: We expected almost an hour ago to hear a statement from the hospital, but that's gone away, at least for now. You're associated with a major hospital in Atlanta, Emory University. Apparently, some family members didn't want the hospital to make a statement.

Is that routine?

GUPTA: Yes. You know, frankly, I'm surprised when hospitals do make statements. There's so many regulations, as you know, Wolf, regarding this sort of thing, patient confidentiality.

You know, when a famous person goes into the hospital, we expect a statement to be made. But certainly the family and the patient, him or herself, if they're living, has a right to not do that. And hospitals are very strict about that.

You know, you'll remember in the case of President Clinton, at Columbia Hospital, close to you -- in New York, rather -- he -- the hospital did not want any statements released. The family said not until after the operation.

So they were very, very tight about that. And they certainly have an obligation to sort of listen to the family in this sort of situation and not provide any information. That would certainly be a violation of what we call HIPAA regulations, which is sort of targeting patient confidentiality.

BLITZER: So we shouldn't be surprised that the hospital, at least for now, has decided to remain silent?

GUPTA: No, not surprised. And, you know, frankly, you know, it's an interesting thing. As a doctor myself, and as a journalist, I'm surprised so often that hospitals do release statements, that families agree to do that, because the HIPAA regulations are very clear on this.

Unless a family member of the patient, him or herself, agrees, there will be no statement, there will be no release of information, there'll be no release of blood tests, no release of any autopsy results if they don't want it. They can say, no, we're not going to release any information, if they choose to do that. And by law, the hospital or the medical examiner's office can't release that information.

BLITZER: All right, Sanjay. Thank you for that. Stand by.

We're going to continue to watch this story unfold.

I want to check in briefly, though, with Lou Dobbs to see what's coming up right at the top of the hour -- Lou.

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Wolf, thank you very much. Coming up, we'll be reporting on the huge military buildup by a number of this country's most potentially dangerous enemies. Are adversaries preparing for the next war while we fight in Iraq and Afghanistan and ignore almost the rest of the world?

That special report.

Lies and injustice in the case of two former Border Patrol agents sent to prison. Leading lawmakers now say prosecutors committed a heinous crime against those agents. Two of the lawmakers, Congressman Ted Poe, Congressman John Culberson, are among our guests here tonight.

And Speaker Nancy Pelosi struggling to defend herself in the furor over her use of military aircraft at taxpayer expense that some say is excessive. Republican lawmakers are accusing her of an extravagance of power. We'll have that report.

And we'll be talking with nationally syndicated radio host Michael Eric Dyson about his provocative new book, "Debating Race."

And over the course of the next hour, there will be no reporting beginning at the top of the hour on the passing of Anna Nicole Smith

We hope you'll join us.

Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: All right, Lou. Thank you for that.

Lou Dobbs coming up in a few moments.

Jacki Schechner has been watching this unfold on the Internet.

Jacki, the death of Anna Nicole Smith, what are you picking up?

JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Well, a statement coming out just now from TrimSpa, the company that Anna Nicole Smith was a spokesperson for, saying they are grief stricken. This Web site has been up and down for the past couple of hours.

Interesting to note, though, that on the Web site there is a statement from October 31st, saying that Anna Nicole Smith had been taken to a Nassau hospital for suffering chest and back pain, that she had been diagnosed at that point with pneumonia, that she was suffering from exhaustion and fatigue.

They're quoting a statement from her attorney saying that she had faced more in the last couple of weeks -- this is back in October -- than most people face in a lifetime. Again, claiming that she was diagnosed at the time with pneumonia, that she had been through a lot, that the demands of giving birth to a child had taken a lot from her physically. Of course, the passing of her son, all of that.

But she had chest and back pains back in October and was taken to a Nassau hospital, Wolf, for pneumonia.

BLITZER: Jacki, thank you for that.

Sanjay Gupta is still with us. What do you make of this? I hope you had a chance to hear what Jacki was just reporting.

GUPTA: Yes. You know, it's something that's sort of been in the back of my mind all day with regards to this, TrimSpa and the significant weight loss that she had over a period of time. It's hard to say if the chest and back pain were related to anything.

Obviously whenever you hear chest pain, you do worry again about somebody's heart. But it sounds like she was checked out at that time.

The exhaustion may fit with that as well. You do wonder if the substance Ephedra that we hear so much about, Wolf -- there's been so many lawsuits regarding Ephedra. It was banned and then it was not banned, and now it is banned again.

We're doing a little investigating on this, and we learned at the time that she had her significant weight loss, that eight-month period, Ephedra was not banned. So she may have, in fact, been taking it.

The reason that is significant, Wolf, because Ephedra, part of the reason it was so controversial, was because it had a significant effect on your heart rate and your the heart rhythm. And people were worried that it could cause some heart problems either at the time or later on down the road.

So, again, another piece of information that I think the medical examiner's going to need to look at, if there was heart problems, could it have somehow been related to time that she was taking the TrimSpa and had that significant weight loss? I don't know, Wolf, but again, something else to investigate.

BLITZER: Sanjay, thank you for all of that information.

Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent.

John Zarrella is outside the hospital in Hollywood, Florida. He's been there now for some time.

Update our viewers as we wrap up our coverage on this story, John, on what we know.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, what we know here at Hollywood Memorial Hospital is that Anna Nicole Smith arrived here approximately, according to eyewitnesses, at about 2:10 this afternoon.

Earlier than that, at about 1:35, 1:39, over at the Seminole Indian Hard Rock Casino, not far from here, that she was discovered by a nurse a few minutes later, a personal nurse, a private nurse, in the room. She was apparently unresponsive.

And at about 1:45 she was administered CPR. And that CPR coming from a bodyguard.

The Seminole Indian Reservation paramedics called and rushed to the room, transporting her here to the hospital, apparently arriving here at about 2:10 and may have already been dead.

We talked to several eyewitnesses who said that very little activity was going on when she got here, that apparently she may well have already been dead. Here's those eyewitnesses.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were 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 had seen a whole bunch of cops and an ambulance, and a friend of ours told her that that was Anna Nicole in there.

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


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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was covered up.

ZARRELLA: She was covered up?


ZARRELLA: Completely covered up as if she was deceased?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. They said she was dead upon arrival. So you -- that was...


ZARRELLA: Now, the media, of course, gathered here and have been waiting all day today. As you can see here, still here this evening, but gathered waiting for a statement from either the hospital or from Hollywood paramedics. But we were advised about an hour or so ago that there would be no statement.

Everything now being referred to the family's attorney, which, of course, is at the request of the family. We know that the medical examiner is either on the way or has gotten here and picked up Anna Nicole Smith's body.

The body being transported for the medical examiner's examination, which will begin sometime tomorrow. We don't have the time -- a time on that.

We also know that the Broward sheriff's office was asked by the reservation police to help and assist in the investigation of her death. Again, that would be somewhat common simply because of the resources that the Broward sheriff's office can bring to bear that the reservation police do not have -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I know you're going to be there for a while, John. Thank you.

Sibila Vargas is watching this story unfold in Los Angeles. What are you picking up, Sibila?

VARGAS: Well, we are getting word from E! Network now. This is their statement. This is, of course, the network where the reality show "The Anna Nicole Show" was on.

E! Network says they are "... deeply saddened by the tragic news of Anna Nicole Smith's death. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones."

Wolf, back to you. We're going to continue to get more and we'll bring you some more later.

BLITZER: Sibila, thank you very much.

It's been a remarkable chain of events that has occurred over the past few hours as we've been watching this tragedy unfold. We don't know the circumstances, we don't know why. We do know that Anna Nicole Smith, 39 years old, has died and that full investigations are now under way.

Not only medical investigations, but we heard from the police chief as well, they are looking into this as well. That's a matter of routine.

No suggestion of foul play or anything along those lines. We do know, though, that her death follows the death of her 20-year-old son only a few months ago, the birth of a littler girl. A custody dispute now presumably under way involving custody of that little girl.

Much more of this coverage coming up later tonight here on CNN on "LARRY KING LIVE," 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Until then, thanks very much for joining us. We'll be back with THE SITUATION ROOM in one hour.

Let's go to Lou Dobbs in the meantime in New York.