Kate Middleton Radio Prank DJs 'Heartbroken' Over Hospital Worker's Suicide

 Mark Large/Getty Images

Two Australian radio DJs are speaking out on the death of the British hospital nurse they prank called who committed suicide after being tricked into giving information on Kate Middleton's pregnancy.

Michael Christian, of Sydney's 2DayFM, says he is "shattered," "gutted" and "heartbroken" in a new interview alongside colleague Mel Greig on the Australian program Today Tonight (via NBC News).

Jacintha Saldanha, a 46-year-old mother of two, was found dead on Friday, having taken her own life, after the DJs phoned King Edward VII hospital, pretending to be royals and duping Saldanha into putting their call through to another staffer who leaked details of Middleton's morning sickness.

STORY: Hospital Worker Duped by Kate Middleton Radio Prank Found Dead

"Unfortunately I remember that moment very well, because I haven't stopped thinking about it since it happened," said Greig. "I remember my first question was 'was she a mother?' ... I've wanted to just reach out to [Saldanha's children] and just give them a big hug and say sorry. I hope they're OK, I really do. I hope they get through this."

Greig said the duo never intended the prank -- for which the concept came about during a pre-show meeting -- to pan out this way.

"We thought it was such a silly idea and the accents were terrible," she said, saying "not for a second did we expect to speak to Kate, let alone have a conversation with anyone at the hospital. We wanted to be hung up on."

As previously reported, Greig and Christian have been suspended from their broadcast. Advertising was also temporarily pulled from the program by CEO of Southern Cross Austereo, the group that owns 2Day FM.

Austereo CEO Rhys Holleran said on Saturday that the company and the hosts "have mutually decided that the show will not return until further notice, out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."

 

"I spoke to both presenters early this morning and it's fair to say they're completely shattered," he said. "These people aren't machines, they're human beings. We're all affected by this."

See the Today Tonight interview here.

 

comments powered by Disqus