Anna Nicole Smith's former bodyguard has told how he is still 'haunted' after finding the Playboy model's lifeless body in a Florida hotel suite - and reveals he still blames himself for her tragic death ten years later.

In an exclusive interview with, Maurice Brighthaupt, known to Smith as Big Moe, recalls the frantic moments he tried to revive the unconscious star, administering CPR for ten minutes before an ambulance arrived.

And the trained paramedic vividly remembers seeing the blond pinup slip away as an accidental drug overdose cut her life short at age 39.

Just months after the passing of beloved son Daniel, which came three days after the birth of her daughter Dannielynn, Smith died on February 8th, 2007 after she consumed a fatal cocktail of prescription pills with powerful sleep syrup chloral hydrate.


Speaking for the 10th anniversary of her death, Brighthaupt - who was also Smith's friend and confidant - says the terrible tragedy was almost inevitable, admitting the former Playboy centerfold's drug abuse was out of control and claims she ultimately died of a "broken heart".

What's more, the man claims his boss predicted her own death the previous night, telling him her dead son was 'calling' to her and that she would soon be by his side.

But Brighthaupt, 48, admits the star was 'enabled' to abuse drugs by her close friends, including himself.

The Miami-based firefighter and paramedic, said: 'She was like a sister to me. She was the most loving and caring person I have ever met.

"Even though it was ten years ago, I still haven't fully come to terms with her death.

"I tried my best to help her in her final days and get her medical attention but she refused it. She had a group of us around her and all we did was enable her behaviour.

"It took me ten years to realise it but I was an enabler. We enable these stars. We enable people that have power and we think they are bigger than life but we can't control mother nature.

"I still have dreams about that day and I am haunted by the moment I saw her slipping away."


Smith's sudden death rocked the world of showbiz, sparked several court cases, paternity tests, conspiracy theories, public spats and left dozens of close friends struggling to rebuild their lives.

Playboy model Smith rose to tabloid fame after marrying billionaire oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, who she had first met at a Houston strip club in 1993.

The wheelchair-bound 89-year-old died one year later and Smith was branded a gold-digger when she embarked on a legal claim to access his $400million estate.

The case continued beyond her death but was eventually thrown out.

The voluptuous model went on to embark on a film and TV career making dozens of guest appearances and starring in a number of failed movies and was even given her own reality show.

She raised eyebrows in 2006 when she moved to the Bahamas with her entourage, including bodyguard Brighthaupt and her lawyer - and later partner - Howard K. Stern.

In September that year she gave birth to daughter Dannielynn, but three days later her son Daniel died while visiting them in hospital. The 20-year-old suffered an accidental overdose of methadone, Zoloft and Lexapro.

During his funeral, distraught Smith even tried to jump in his coffin. Brighthaupt said she never recovered from the tragedy.

"Anna's only real rock was her son Daniel," he said. "She was so young when she had him that they practically grew up together. They were inseparable.

"Her heart was truly broken when he died and I don't think she ever came to terms with it. If it wasn't for her daughter Dannielynn, I think she would have died much sooner. She probably would not have even lasted a week.

"There were times after his death when she thought he was still alive. She would wake up and ask where he was, genuinely believing he was still with her.

"We would then have to explain to her that he was gone and she would be hit with that horrific grief all over again. It was terrible to see her like that. As much as I blame myself and others for her death, I don't think she could have been saved from the pain she felt after losing Daniel."

Just days later, she exchanged vows with Stern, who claimed to be Dannielynn's father, in a 'commitment ceremony' on a boat off the island of New Providence.

Five months after Daniel's death, Smith flew to the U.S. and checked into room 607 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida with Stern.

Big Moe claims Anna Nicole Smith died of a 'broken heart' after her son Daniel's death. Photo / Getty Images
Big Moe claims Anna Nicole Smith died of a 'broken heart' after her son Daniel's death. Photo / Getty Images

Brighthaupt, who was by her side as ever, said the model was a frantic figure, popping prescription medication 'like candy' and still refusing to accept her son's passing.

She was suffering from pneumonia following a frightening incident in the Bahamas where she nearly drowned in a swimming pool.

Over three tragic days at the hotel she went from bad to worse, as she battled delusions and depression while downing dozens if nor hundreds of prescription pills.

"She was taking all kinds of meds, it was really bad," recalled Brighthaupt. "She was taking flu meds, meds to sleep, meds for depression and she was taking a lot.

"She once showed me a pot of 30 pills and she told me she had to take that four times a day."

Smith accidentally overdosed on at least nine prescription drugs, including powerful sleep syrup chloral hydrate she was known to swig out of the bottle, after a miserable last few days in which she endured stomach flu, a 105-degree (40.5C) fever, heavy sweating and an infection on her buttocks from repeated injections.

At one point her fever reached a staggering 105F but, according to Brighthaupt, Stern refused to let her go to hospital for fear of being pictured by the paparazzi.

He said they were forced to place Smith in a bath of cold water in a desperate bid to cool her down, and it seemed to work momentarily.

That night she had a premonition and said her son Daniel was ''calling her''.

Brighthaupt said: ''She told me, 'Daniel is calling me, he is all alone and he says he is scared. He says he wants his mother and I need to be with him. It is time for me to be with him'."

"So I responded and said, 'You just have to be strong'. I told her this was not the time.

"She was having a premonition. I think all she ever wanted to do was be with her son and she was going to get to him no matter what.

"She had had other episodes like that, she always dreamt Daniel was calling her. Sometimes she would just stare into the distance and say she was talking to Daniel."

On February 8, Smith was left in her hotel room with Brighthaupt's wife, Tasma, who was a registered nurse, and a friend, while Brighthaupt ran errands and Stern went to buy a boat for the couple.

Brighthaupt claims he had been gone just 45 minutes when he got a call from his wife saying Anna was unconscious. He rushed back to the hotel and desperately began to administer CPR while an ambulance arrived.

Dramatic video footage showed paramedics continuing to work on her as they wheeled her into an ambulance outside the hotel.

Despite all their attempts, she did not make it.

Brighthaupt said: "I remember getting to her and she was completely limp but her body still had a lot of warmth, so I felt there was still hope.

"I think I was giving CPR and mouth to mouth for over 10 minutes before the ambulance arrived.

"My first thought was, "Oh God, what has Howard [Stern] given you" but then I went into autopilot and just desperately tried to keep her alive.

"I rode with her in the ambulance and they spent an hour with her but they could not revive her. I was the only person with her, I guess I was the only family she had at the time.

"So I went into the hospital room to say a prayer for her."

Smith was rushed to Memorial Regional Hospital at 2:10pm and the former Playboy Playmate of the Year was pronounced dead shortly afterwards at 2.49pm.

In a detailed autopsy report, Broward County Medical Examiner Dr Joshua Perper found that in the days leading up to her death, Smith had been taking large amounts of chloral hydrate, which also contributed to the 1962 overdose death of her idol, Marilyn Monroe, as well as multiple other prescriptions.

Police found no apparent signs of foul play, and the medical examiner also ruled Smith's death probably was not a suicide.

Contributing factors included her weakened condition from a stomach flu and fever brought on by a pus-filled infection on her buttocks from repeated injection of other drugs.

Brighthaupt, though, blames himself and others for not leading Smith away from drug abuse.

"I think lots of people around Anna made some big mistakes. But we all enabled her," he said.

"If I had to choose one person who caused her the most harm I would have to say it was Howard but I do believe he loved her and did not intend to cause her harm."

Various court cases followed her death, from her burial place to the paternity of her daughter.

She was eventually buried in Nassau in the Bahamas next to Daniel, against her family's initial wishes, and, in a dispute with Stern, photographer Larry Birkhead was found to be Dannielynn's father thanks to a DNA test.

Brighthaupt, who has two grown up children and still works as a part time as a bodyguard, is trying to move on with his life but is still plagued by that fateful day.

He said: "I think about it every day, 'What more could I have done?'

"I think ultimately what we really needed to do was protect her from herself and that was something we all failed to do. We all need to take responsibility for what happened to her.

He added: "I have tried to move on but that day is always there lingering at the back of my mind."