Two Australian radio DJs, whose prank phone call revealed details about the Duchess of Cambridge, have apologised to the family of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse found dead following the hoax.
Speaking in their first interview since the death of Ms Saldanha last week, Mel Greig and Michael Christian said they had never intended to get the details that they did, and that they had expected to be hung up on. Police are treating Ms Saldanha’s death as unexplained, but not suspicious.
A tearful Ms Greig, one of the two DJs, said: “There is nothing that can make me feel worse than the way I feel right now and the way I feel for the family. I am so sorry.
“I care more about the family. I want to know they are getting the support they need and the public are respecting their privacy.
“If we played any involvement in her death, then we are very sorry for that. I am so devestated for them. We couldn’t foresee what was going to happen in the future.”
Prime Minister David Cameron today described Ms Saldanha’s death as “an absolute tragedy”.
Asked about the incident at a Westminster lunch, Mr Cameron said: “I thought it was completely shocking, the news when I heard that about the suicide of this nurse, who worked incredibly hard and obviously was incredibly dedicated.
“I feel incredibly sorry for her and her family. It is an absolute tragedy that this has happened and I am sure everyone will want to reflect on how it was allowed to happen.”
Michael Christian, who works with Ms Greig on at 2DayFM, said: “We are very sorry for the harm we may have helped contribute to.
“I don’t think anyone could have predicted what would have happened. I don’t think anyone could have thought we would be here.
“The call to begin with wasn’t about speaking to Kate, it wasn’t about trying to get a scoop. We assumed we would be hung up on and that would be that.”
Mother-of-two Saldanha was found dead on Friday morning. She was the first of two nurses to speak to the radio presenters, who pretended they were the Queen and Prince Charles calling to check up on the pregant duchess.
The Duchess of Cambridge had been admitted to the hospital with acute morning sickness, and was in care for four days.
Southern Cross Austero Media, the owner of 2DayFM, said it was reviewing procedures at the station. It has suspended advertising on 2Day FM until further notice, ended Ms Greig and Mr Christian’s Hot 30 show, and suspended prank calls across the company.
However, the company said that it had made repeated attempts to contact the hospital before airing the prank call on radio.
A statement said: “Several attempts were made by the production team to discuss the segment with the hospital, but with no success. The segment was referred to an internal review process which included internal legal review and authorisation was granted to broadcast.
“The company does not consider that the broadcast of the segment has breached any relevant law, regulation or code. The company will fully co-operate with any investigations.”