Two Sydney FM radio presenters have been distraught over the consequences of a prank call they made last week with regards to Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge. The hoax is believed to have caused the death of Jacintha Saldanha, a London hospital nurse.
Pregnant Kate Middleton Released From Hospital
1. Press was scampering for some Kate Middleton pregnancy news when she was admitted to King Edward VII's hospital in London for acute morning sickness.
2. Australian radio station 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian decided to go on a mission: pull a Kate Middleton prank call. On their show, they called the abovementioned hospital after telling their audience what they were up to.
3. Greig asked in a fake accent: "[May I] speak to Kate please, my granddaughter." The conversation went on live on the show.
The audience later heard: "She's sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night and sleep is good for her."
4. Nurse Jacintha Saldanha answered the phone call. She transferred the call to a colleague, who then gave the DJs some sensitive information about Kate Middleton's condition at the time.
5. The whole matter drew some massive criticisms from around the world. The issues of professionalism, ethics and privacy (among others) were raised.
6. Reports surfaced that the two hosts have been suspended indefinitely.
7. Jacintha Saldanha, India-born 46-year old woman and mother of two, was found dead on Friday in nurses' accommodation at the King Edward VII hospital. Various media has described Saldanha's cause of death as an "apparent suicide."
8. Lord Glenarthur, chairman of King Edward VII Hospital, has written to Southern Cross Austereo, which owns 2Day FM. He condemned what the DJs have done and said it was "truly appalling."
9. A spokesperson at Austereo told AAP on Sunday night Mel Greig and Michael Christian have expressed desire to comment on the tragedy. They are still unable to do so as of the weekend because they are deeply distraught and receiving counseling.
''The backlash is just ferocious,'' she told theage.com.au. ''Australia seems to be much more balanced. In the UK it's like they're on a witch hunt.
10. Austereo has responded to Lord Glenarthur's letter, saying the radio station was ''taking immediate action and reviewing the broadcast and processes involved.''
''It is too early to know the full details leading to this tragic event and we are anxious to review the results of an investigation that may be made available to us or made public,'' the letter reads.
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