Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who pranked called nurse Jacintha Saldanha at London’s King Edward VII Hospital about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy, are speaking out following the death of Saldanha.
“I haven’t stopped thinking about it since it happened. My first question was, is she a mother?” Mel said in an interview on Australian TV show “A Current Affair,” when asked about Saldanha, who took the DJs’ call before transferring it to another nurse in the Duchess’ hospital ward.
Saldanha was later found dead of an apparent suicide.
“[I’m] very saddened for the family, can’t imagine what they’d be going through,” Mel continued.
“I’m gutted, shattered, heartbroken,” Michael said. “We’re still trying to get our heads around everything, trying to make sense of the situation.”
The radio personalities explained that they never thought their prank would have worked.
“We assumed that we’d be hung up on and that’d be that,” Michael said. “We were never trying to fool someone. We assumed that with the voices we put on we were going to get told off and that was the gag.”
“The accents were terrible. It was designed to be stupid, we never meant to get that far, from the little corgis barking in the background, we obviously wanted it to be a joke,” Mel continued. “We thought 100 people before us would have tried the same thing. We did not just see that actually working.”
Adding, “Nothing that can make me feel worse than what I feel right now and what I feel for the family. We’re so sorry this has happened to them.”
Michael echoed his co-worker’s sentiments saying, “What’s important right now is the family of Jacintha is getting the support and love they deserve. That’s what’s important here. It’s nothing more than a tragic turn of events that no one could have predicted and as for the part we played, we’re incredibly sorry.”
Following Saldanha’s death, a rep from the hospital where the late nurse worked sent a letter to the DJs’ radio station.
“King Edward VII’s Hospital cares for sick people, and it was extremely foolish of your presenters even to consider trying to lie their way through to one of our patients, let alone actually make the call,” wrote King Edward VII Hospital chairman Lord Glenarthur. “The longer term consequence has been reported around the world and is, frankly, tragic beyond words.”
-- Jesse Spero