terrible things

D.J.’s Who Pranked Kate Middleton’s Nurse Are Reportedly ‘Shattered’ Over Suicide

Jacintha Saldanha.

Australian radio D.J’s Mel Greig and Michael Christian have gone underground following the apparent suicide of 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha, the King Edward VII Hospital nurse who fell for their Kate Middleton-related prank call earlier this week. The pair, who had gleefully promoted the recording of the phone call on Twitter, have shut down their accounts, and their employer, 2Day FM, has suspended them indefinitely. Meanwhile, the public — which didn’t seem to have a problem with the prank prior to Saldanha’s death — is accusing them of having  ”blood on their hands,” the hospital’s chairman has come forward to call their behavior “truly appalling,” “extremely foolish,” and “tragic beyond words.” Australian media regulators told the Daily Mail that they’ve had “a lot” of complaints about the matter, adding, “but it doesn’t actually matter, we only need one complaint to launch an investigation.”

While the outrage seems to be well-intentioned, cooler heads are pointing out that Greig and Christian could not have predicted that their joke would have such a horrible outcome. Jeff Kennett, who heads a Melbourne-based group dedicated to helping people with mental health problems, encouraged people to “support, rather than crucify” the D.J.s, who are undoubtedly experiencing some anguish of their own. Rhys Holleran, the CEO of the company that owns 2Day FM, sounded a similar note. In a press conference, he called Greig and Christian “completely shattered” by Saldanha’s death, adding, “These people aren’t machines, they’re human beings. What happened is incredibly tragic and we’re deeply saddened and we’re incredibly affected by that.” British author and radio commentator Chas Newkey-Burden summed it up in a tweet that read, “Anger over Mel Greig & Michael Christian understandable. But their mistake will haunt them for life. No need for pitchforks or witch hunts.” 

D.J.’s Who Pranked Nurse ‘Shattered’ Over Death