Two Australian radio announcers have finally released a statement regarding the horrific incident where they made a prank call to a British hospital treating Prince William’s pregnant wife Kate and the nurse that put their call through apparently committed suicide out of shame.
The two popular on-air personalities for 2DayFM Sydney, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, said the tragedy had left them “shattered, gutted, heartbroken”. Its seems as if Greig and Christian have been in complete solitude since nurse Jacintha Saldanha took her life and the public responded with complete outrage at their prank.
Greig told Australian television her first thought when told of Saldanha’s death was for her family.
“Unfortunately I remember that moment very well, because I haven’t stopped thinking about it since it happened,” she said, amid tears and her voice quavering with emotion. “I remember my first question was ‘was she a mother?’.”
“I’ve wanted to just reach out to them and just give them a big hug and say sorry. I hope they’re okay, I really do. I hope they get through this,” said a deeply saddened, Greig when asked about Saldaha’s two children and their father Ben Barboza.
Saldanha, 46, was found dead in a staff housing facility near London’s King Edward VII hospital on Friday after putting the prank call through to another hospital worker who disclosed details of Kate’s morning sickness to Mel and Michael.
The infamous call was played over and over by the station and became an internet sensation.
Once Saldanha’s death was reported what started out as a joke turned into a slew of hate on several social media outlets toward the radio DJs. Michael Christian said ,”I hope that they get the love, the support, the care that they need, you know,” said Christian, who like Greig struggled to talk about the tragedy. Both Greig, 30, and Christian were relatively new to the station, with Greig joining in March and Christian having been in the job only a few days before the prank call after a career in regional radio. Mel Greig also thought that their prank wouldn’t even work and has this to say. “We thought a hundred people before us would’ve tried it. We thought it was such a silly idea and the accents were terrible and 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.”
It was also reported that Michael Christian was in the news about two weeks prior to the prank call by angering fellow passengers with a harmonica playing stunt aboard pop star Rihanna’s private jet on her 777 tour. Southern Cross Austereo, who owns 2DayFM has received more than 1,000 complaints from Australians over the actions of the two radio jocks, who have both been temporarily taken off air pending an investigation. A few advertisers with SCA have pulled their ads trying to distance themselves from the situation.
SCA chief Rhys Holleran had this to say regarding the tragedy, “It is absolutely true to say that we actually did attempt to contact those people on multiple occasions. No one could have reasonably foreseen what has happened. I can only say the prank call is not unusual around the world.”
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