Jacintha Saldanha, One Of The Nurses Who Got Royally Pranked By Australian DJs, Killed Herself

Michael Christian and Mel Greig from 2Day FM

A radio prank by DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian of Austrailia’s 2Day FM has now turned deadly. Greig and Christian were pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles and asked her if they could be put through to Catherine (Kate Middleton). The woman who put them through to the Duchesses private room at King Edward VII Hospital last week when Middleton was hospitalized, apparently killed herself today. From The Daily Mail:

A nurse who transferred a prank phone call from two Australian radio presenters about the Duchess of Cambridge has died in a suspected suicide – two days after being duped.

The body of Jacintha Saldanha, who was working on the switchboard, was found at an address yards away from King Edward VII Hospital, where she worked, just before 9.30am today.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge issued a statement saying they are ‘deeply saddened’ by the tragedy and said they had not made a complaint, adding: ‘Their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.

‘On the contrary we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times.’

King Edward VII Hospital issued the following statement:

It is with very deep sadness that we confirm the tragic death of a member of our nursing staff, Jacintha Saldanha.

‘Jacintha has worked at the King Edward VII’s Hospital for more than four years. She was an excellent nurse and well-respected and popular with all of her colleagues.

‘We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her throughout this difficult time.’

John Lofthouse, Chief Executive at King Edward VII’s Hospital, said: ‘Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends. Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague.”

Lord Glenarthur, Chairman of King Edward VII’s Hospital, says, ‘This is a tragic event. Jacintha was a first class nurse who cared diligently for hundreds of patients during her time with us. She will be greatly missed.’

TMZ is reporting that the DJs are going radio silent:

The two Australian DJs behind the Kate Middleton hospital prank that led to the suicide of a nurse have decided to REMOVE themselves from the airwaves.

Southern Cross Austereo, the company that owns the station, has released a statement … saying, “SCA and 2Day FM are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha from King Edward VII’s Hospital.”

SCA says the CEO has spoken with both of the DJs … who are both “deeply shocked” over the tragedy.

The company adds, “SCA and the hosts have decided that they will not return to their radio show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy.”

This is after the two DJs completely removed their Twitter accounts and the radio station moved to scrub all of the hype they’d be promoting about the #royalprank from their social media sites.

In this case the DJ’s probably will get fired, and I’m pretty sure no one will feel that sorry for them…

Here’s the audio of the prank call if you hadn’t heard it.

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  • Vagabond661

    Bob Costas will appear on TV to tell us it’s time to ban radio.

  • The_Queen_of_France

    Holding the DJs and the prank as responsible for the nurse’s suicide would be ridiculous. DJs make thousands of prank calls daily and most people don’t kill themselves because they’ve been on the receiving end of such a call. This poor woman was obviously deeply troubled before the call. Rational people don’t commit suicide after one embarrassing episode.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1628115872 David Smith

      She was not deeply troubled. She was a victim of a callous prank. There are people with fragile psyches out there. Pranksters like the 2DJs I guess you could say “weed them out”. These kind of pranks are in poor taste. The public should not encourage the behavior. Tune to another station.

      • The_Queen_of_France

        A lot of practical jokes are in poor taste. The victims don’t usually hurt themselves because of them. How do you know she wasn’t deeply troubled? A person with a fragile pysche *is* troubled in that they can’t shake off and deal with what a normal person would be able to. Are practical jokes now to be outlawed?

      • herddog505

        I don’t KNOW if she was “deeply troubled” i.e. mentally unbalanced, but it seems to me that killing herself over a “prank” is pretty good evidence of it.

        I am, of course, sorry that she chose this path. I can understand a certain amount of anger at one’s self (“Good heavens, how could I have been so stupid as to fall for THAT???”), but not enough to kill myself.

        Question for consideration: how do “pranks” like this relate to our present national obsession with bullying? And, building on The_Queen_of_France‘s question, will there be some sort of push to “outlaw” these sorts of “pranks”?

  • Meiji Man

    “All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed.”
    — The Joker

  • Jack Zimms

    The nurse is responsible for her action of committing suicide. However the DJ are responsible for their actions. Someone who pulls pranks, bullies, teases a teenager or any age person who then commits suicide contributed to the situation. The same goes for those who yell jump and convinces a jumper to jump. They are not
    ultimately responsible for the suicide. However, their actions are not right and they did contribute to the tragedy.

  • http://ModelSuppliesBlog.com ModelSupplies

    The poor, poor woman. Can you imagine her situation? She would forever be the person who let the call go through. The press was looking to assign blame to the hospital so strongly, people forgot it was a simple individual who, under tremendous pressure, made a mistake. A mistake she felt she could not live with. What a horrific turn of events. There are no winners in this situation. This is a grim reminder that we are all just human, after all. Be kinder to one another.

    • retired.military

      Sorry but in 2 weeks if you mention her name to someone in England they will most likley say “who??”

  • Brucehenry
    • retired.military

      Bruce and I totally agree on this (or at least I think we do). A sure sign the Mayan calendar is coming to an end . LOL.

      • SteveCrickmore075

        It may be precisely because this lady, like Steve Biegum, Sarah Palin’s political aide, felt personally responsible, and failed to see the humour in a telephone prank that no doubt, infuriated the people they work on behalf of.

        From Wikipedia,The Masked Avengers’ prank on Sarah Palin
        Marc-Antoine Audette said that it took the duo about four or five days of calls to Palin’s staff to finally be able to talk to her. They claimed that they started by talking to low-level people in Alaska and made their way up through Palin’s campaign staff. Audette said that at first they didn’t think their prank would work, calling it a “mission impossible”. He claimed that “after about a dozen calls”, the duo “started to realize it [the prank call] might work, because her [Sarah Palin's] staff didn’t know the name of the French President. They asked us to spell it.

        After McCain and Palin were defeated in the general election, a Republican campaign advisor told The New York Times that the McCain Campaign was not happy about the prank, which caused friction between McCain and Palin. McCain and his advisors were allegedly upset that Palin did not tell them beforehand that she planned to speak with who she thought was Nicolas Sarkozy. McCain strategist Steve Schmidt called a meeting and demanded to know who let Palin talk to the fake Sarkozy without checking with senior advisors first. Steve Biegun, one of Palin’s aides admitting to vetting the call without speaking to campaign advisors or the U.S. State Department, told the Los Angeles Times that “No one’s going to beat me up more than I beat myself up for setting up the governor like that”.

        So John McCain, and a political aide from a fraternity, reckoned to be as tough and cynical as nails, react like this, to a prank, any wonder a caring nurse would feel extremely distraught for letting down her King Edward VII Hospital and the royal family, for a momentary lapse of judgment.

      • Brucehenry

        Thanks for taking the time to read the linked article, RM. I thought it was pure common sense.

  • retired.military

    The DJs are not responsible for the nurse killing herself. She must have had a lot more going on in her life that this in order for her to take her life. If not the DJs did nothing which caused it. I dont think they should be fired either, in the US maybe arrested for HIPA violations but other than legal issues they didnt cause a suicide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amanda.taylorskuse Amanda Taylor-Skuse

    stupid djs, they should be held in some form responsible coz this causes issues for the people that are affected. This isnt the first time DJs or the media have taken things too far and caused people issues. If it was just joe blog in the public who did a thing like this they would get into trouble, how is the media any different?

    I feel sorry for her family who have lost her.

  • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

    Let’s get something straight. The prank committed by Greig and Christian wasn’t an innocent joke. The two impersonated a head of state and her husband.

    • retired.military

      And as such the laws in the country they did this in (austrialia is who has jurisdiction) apply. If I called up France and said I was the French premier to someone is that against the law in the US? I dont think it is. Now if I tried to get medical data on that person it might be. The people who work in Hospitals are (at least in the US) are aware of the Hipa laws. Just because a nurse got star struck by talking to the “king and queen ” it doesnt mean she can violate laws that pertain to medical records .

    • The_Queen_of_France

      Then I suppose I should be arrested for giving the name “Hillary Clinton” to the hostess at a local restaurant. Heck, I should be sent to the guillotine for posting as The Queen of France.

      • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

        So, you see nothing wrong with a person impersonating a head of state in order to invade another person’s privacy. How pathetic.

        • donwalk

          At what level of wealth or world importance do you personally draw the line for pranks? Is it based upon income level, I.Q. level, Social relationships, government positions or private industry positions?
          How would you monitor such situations and how would you police them, such as what you are trying to do right now?

  • retired.military

    I have to say I am somewhat disappointed. I have seen several conservative sites where this issue is discussed and most of the posters are blaming the DJs for the girl committing suicide.
    Whatever happened to personal responsibliity people?
    When the football player killed himself and his girlfriend were folks blaming someone else for them? hell when the gun was being blamed I saw conservatives run call it bullshit (and rightly so). Yet here we have someone who had a prank played on them and they killed themself afterwards and the pranksters are blamed. Not pranksters who called her dirty names, or talked about her, or covered her in urine or set her up on a date with the football captain to be humiliated. Nope just someone playing a prank on the radio.

  • lm

    I hate the fact that people are labelling all Australians as awful insensitive idiots…. I’m Australian, and I didn’t find this funny, nor do I support the dj’s…. So why are some people and the media saying all Australians have a horrible sense of humor? We are not all the same, just like British people are not all rich snobs, or Americans are not all obese jerks…. Unfortunately, these two dj’s have created a new Australian stereotype….

    • Brucehenry

      Seems to me the appropriate stereotype is “All ‘Morning Zoo’ type DJs are obtuse jerks with a horrible sense of humor.”

      Worldwide, evidently.

      I can’t stand morning-commute commercial radio. Thank God for NPR’s Morning Edition!

      • jim_m

        “All ‘Morning Zoo’ type DJs are obtuse jerks with a horrible sense of humor.”

        Sounds like part of the job description, frankly.

  • Brian_R_Allen

    Someone get it to these dickheads that correlation – if two completely different activities days apart may even be considered “correlated” – does not imply causation!

    And who in his Right mind in any case actually cares less who gets to talk to Mister Duke Cambridge and/or his Sun-Page-Two missus?

  • Commander_Chico

    I suspect it wasn’t the call so much as the hospital management’s reaction to it. They probably hammered her.

  • puhiawa

    By all accounts this woman was extremely proud of her occupation and the position she had risen to, as was her family. She was the nurse to royalty and took her job very seriously. She felt she failed her most cherished patients and the honor of her family.

  • puhiawa

    By all accounts this woman was extremely proud of her occupation and the position she had risen to, as was her family. She was the nurse to royalty and took her job very seriously. She felt she failed her most cherished patients and the honor of her family.

  • David

    If England had done away with the Royal family, this life would not have been wasted.

  • donwalk

    Does this mean that April 1st will no longer be included in future calendars? After all, millions of pranks take place on that special day.
    Obviously there were a lot more problems involved than just one prank phone call.

  • Paul Hooson

    It appears the only law that these DJs may have broken was not seeking one party consent to air the prank phone call publicly. Even in Australian law, this may constitute a 5 year prison sentence. These DJs or the radio station itself could very likely be charged under this communications law. More likely, the radio station is heavily fined for this communication violation, but the criminal violation is probably a little bit less likely unless some prosecutor really wants to send a message here.

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