When British playwright-actress Tricia Walsh-Smith posted a high-quality video online describing her failed marriage's most intimate details last week, the clip attracted three million viewers and ignited an online debate questioning whether her "YouTube" divorce was trashy or tactful.
Walsh-Smith said when she uploaded the video detailing her problems with Broadway heavyweight husband Philip Smith to the video-sharing site, she did it to ensure her well-being.
"I did it for survival," she said on "Good Morning America" today. "I wanted attention to my plight. Basically, for me it was a life-or-death situation."
In the video, Walsh-Smith gives a tour of the couple's shared Park Avenue apartment, from which Smith is trying to evict her, according to her claims.
"I still basically don't understand what is going on, but I was being evicted and my husband was evicting me with $5,000," Walsh-Smith said. "He had stopped paying my credit cards and I had to pay lawyers. So basically, he was throwing me out with $80,000 of debt. This is after nine years of marriage and I've done nothing to him. He's never had a dialogue with me. He's never said, 'Tricia, this isn't working. Can I have a divorce?' [Gossip columnist] Cindy Adams told me."
Walsh-Smith's tape also included personal information about the couple's sex life.
"I don't know if you know," Walsh-Smith, 49, told her husband's assistant on speaker phone during a call to his office. "Philip and I never have sex."
She goes on to ask the assistant to relay a message to her estranged husband on what to do with all his condoms she found.
Philip Smith's attorney, David Aronson, told ABC News his 74-year-old client is "hurt and disappointed that Mrs. Smith has done this, but he is a private person who does not believe it would be in anyone's interest to respond to what she has done in a public forum."
Philip Smith is president of the Shubert Organization, the largest theater owner on Broadway.
The public breakup comes at the conclusion of the pair's nine-year marriage, in which Walsh-Smith said she was devoted to her husband entirely.
"I worshipped the ground that man walked on" she said. "I did nothing wrong to him. I didn't have an affair. I actually saved his life years ago."
While some believe Walsh-Smith's video was a stunt designed to put pressure on her husband during their divorce proceedings, the actress said that sentiment is untrue.
"I don't think lawyers and eviction papers — being thrown out with debt is a stunt," said Walsh-Smith, who began to cry as she described the situation with her husband. "That's kind of a really stupid thing for anybody to think I'd do this as a stunt. It was either me or him."
Walsh-Smith said she needed to make sure people knew she needed help.
"What was I going to do? Go live in the park?"
She did admit the video and its public showing was theatrical.
"I knew that I had to get attention," she said. "This was my survival. And I know that to get attention you are sensational and funny. I wasn't mean and I edited it. I got the woman with the camera; I edited and I was careful."
Walsh-Smith said she has not spoken with her husband — who is 25 years older than her — since her online declaration.
"I don't have any money," she said. "What I want to ask, 'Why is my husband doing this?'"
"I'm hurt and nobody cared," said Walsh-Smith, who believes her spouse has no grounds for divorce. "He told everybody on Broadway that he was too old and I didn't love him."
The Smiths' breakup has generated a lot of chatter online and among the New York City society elite.
"It really has brought everything to a new low," said Wendy Jaffe, author of "The Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Married."
"It's such a public way to humiliate somebody."
This kind of public purging isn't new to broken relationships, Jaffe said.
"The feelings she has and how angry she is — that's been going on for hundreds of years," she added. "In the old days you wrote an angry letter and stuck it in your drawer."
"Now people are doing the equivalent of that but they're not putting it in a drawer, they're doing it for all the world to see," she added.
Walsh-Smith hasn't ruled out doing another video.
"I don't know," she said. "I did it for survival. I mean, but, you know, everybody wants to know what happens next. Did my husband do the right thing?"