The two Australian radio DJs who prank-called the London hospital where Kate Middleton
was being treated last week said they were "shattered" and "gutted"
after the nurse who answered their call apparently killed herself.
DJs 'Gutted' Over UK Nurse's SuicideBy CECILIA VEGA | Good Morning America – 9 hours ago
Shock jocks Mel Greig, 30, and Michael Christian, 25, cried as they
spoke to Australia's Channel 9 overnight in their first public interview
since Jacintha Saldanha, 46, the nurse who last week connected the pair
to the duchess' room, was found dead Friday morning.
"I'm shattered, gutted, heartbroken," Christian said. "Mel and myself
are incredibly sorry for the situation and what's happened. I had the
idea. … It was just a simple harmless phone call. It was going to go on
for 30 seconds. We were going to get hung up on."
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The host of the "2Day" FM radio show pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and
Prince Charles, asking for an update on Middleton's condition when they
called up King Edward VII Hospital in central London. With no
receptionist on duty overnight, Saldanha answered the prank call and put
"It was just something that was fun and light-hearted and a tragic turn
of events that I don't think anyone had expected," Christian said.
Saldanha was found dead Friday morning after police were called to an
address near the hospital to "reports of a woman found unconscious,"
according to a statement from Scotland Yard.
Investigators have not said how she might have killed herself.
Greig cried today when asked about the moment she heard of the death of Saldanha, a mother of two.
"It was the worst phone call I've ever had in my life," she said through
tears. "There's not a minute that goes by that we don't think about her
family and the thought that we may have played a part in that is
The DJs said they never expected to get through to Middleton's nurse and
assumed "the same phone calls had been made 100 times that morning,"
Grieg said, "We wanted to be hung up on with our silly voices and wanted
a 20-second segment to air of us doing stupid voice. … Not for a second
did we expect to even speak to Kate or even have a conversation with
anyone at the hospital. We wanted to be hung up on."
The global backlash against the duo has been fierce, from online death
threats to calls for prison time. Their radio station has announced it
is banning phony phone calls altogether, and suspending advertising
Max Moore-Wilton, the chairman of Southern Cross Austereo, said in a
letter Sunday to Lord Glenarthur, chairman of King Edward VII's
Hospital, that the company is reviewing the station's broadcast
policies, the AP reported.
"I can assure you we are taking immediate action and reviewing the
broadcast and processes involved," Moore-Wilton said in the letter. "As
we have said in our own statements on the matter, the outcome was
unforeseeable and very regrettable."
Greig and Michael have been taken off the air, silenced indefinitely.