The Australian DJ’s behind the hoax call to the hospital that treated a pregnant Duchess of Cambridge said they were “gutted, shattered, heartbroken” by the death of a nurse they had duped.
In emotional television interviews on Australian TV networks, presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian insisted their prank call to the King Edward VII’s Hospital had “a tragic turn of events no-one could have predicted or expected”.
A tearful Greig, who was at times comforted by Christian, told Today Tonight on Australia’s Channel Seven: “There’s nothing that can make me feel worse than what I feel right now. And for what I feel for the family. We’re so sorry that this has happened to them.”
The 2Day FM hosts fooled nurse Jacintha Saldanha into believing they were the Queen and Prince of Wales and the hospital worker transferred them to a colleague who described Kate’s condition in detail.
Ms Saldanha, a 46-year-old mother of two, was found dead on Friday in what appeared to be a suspected suicide. The nurse’s brother Naveen told the Daily Mail his sister was a devout Roman Catholic and would have been “devastated” by her unwitting role in the breach of medical confidentiality.
Her partner Benedict Barboza, 49, and their teenage son and daughter, aged 14 and 16, are being comforted by relatives and friends at their terrace home in Southmead, Bristol.
But Labour MP Keith Vaz, who visited Ms Saldanha’s family, said they were in “terrible distress” and urged the hospital to provide them with more support and hold an inquiry.
In response the hospital said its chief executive John Lofthouse had spoken to the nurse’s partner on Friday by phone and offered to meet him whenever he wanted.
In another development Southern Cross Austereo, the parent company of 2Day FM, said a review of the incident had found the production team had made several attempts without success to discuss the prank call with the central London hospital.
But a spokeswoman for the King Edward VII’s Hospital said: “Following the hoax call, the radio station did not speak to anyone in the hospital’s senior management or anyone at the company that handles our media inquiries.”
By The Press Association