BRIGITTE NIELSEN RUSHED TO HOSPITAL

Published on: February 21, 2005

"Strange Love" star Brigitte Nielsen suddenly stopped breathing while on her way to tape her reality show -- but was saved by the quick action of her co-star, rapper Flavor Flav.

The 41-year-old actress had to be given oxygen and rushed to the hospital -- and for a few moments, friends feared the very worst!

"Brigitte stopped breathing. We thought she was going to die!" her spokesman Luigi Balduni told The ENQUIRER.

The Danish star had flown from Europe to New York to do her VH1 show -- but she began feeling ill.

GASPING FOR AIR
"Early on February 9, a doctor came to her hotel room and looked at her throat," revealed Balduni.

"He told her she was suffering from the flu and an inflamed throat passage.

"Brigitte and Flavor Flav had some press junkets to attend later that morning and she didn't want to cancel any of them.

"The three of us were in a limo when Brigitte started to cough and couldn't stop. She took a throat lozenge -- but it made matters worse. She started to gasp for air.

"Everyone was in a panic, and we told the limo driver to take her to the nearest hospital. But quick-thinking Flavor Flav jumped out of the limo and flagged down a nearby ambulance.

"At this point, Brigitte was on the verge of passing out, she couldn't breathe. She was gasping for air -- and her face was turning red.

AMBULANCE
"Flavor Flav had the ambulance rush over and the paramedics put an oxygen mask on her. Once she was breathing comfortably with the help of the mask and was stabilized, they whisked her to the hospital.

"They immediately admitted her to intensive care where she spent the night.

"Brigitte was discharged the next day and rested in her hotel for a few days before flying off to South America for a well-deserved vacation.

"At first we thought she was having an asthma attack, but doctors told us she must have suffered from an allergic reaction to the throat lozenge coupled with having a bad case of the flu. She's doing fine now."

-- ALAN BUTTERFIELD