Nurse found dead after prank call on Catherine

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Nurse had husband, 2 children; family is 'deeply saddened by the loss'
  • Two Australian DJ hoaxsters won't be returning to their show until further notice
  • Prince William and Catherine are "deeply saddened" by the death, palace says
  • The woman who died is the nurse who first took the hoax call, the hospital says

London (CNN) -- A nurse at the hospital who was duped by a prank call from two Australian radio DJs concerning Prince William's pregnant wife, Catherine, has apparently committed suicide, the hospital confirmed Friday.

The nurse "was recently the victim of a hoax call," King Edward VII Hospital said in a media statement.

The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles in the prank call, in which some details of the Duchess of Cambridge's condition and care were given.

Read more: Opinion: How will royal couple react to pregnancy prank?

The nurse who died was the person who first took the hoax call and transferred it through to Catherine's ward, the hospital's public relations company said.

The hospital named her as Jacintha Saldanha and said she had worked there for more than four years as an "excellent nurse," well-respected by co-workers.

The hospital "had been supporting her throughout this difficult time," the statement said.

She is survived by her husband and two children, the hospital said.

Her family released a statement asking for privacy and directing questions to police.

Social media entwined in radio prank, suicide story

"We as a family are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Jacintha," said the statement, released by police.

The Duchess of Cambridge was discharged from the hospital Thursday after treatment for acute morning sickness.

A St. James's Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha.

"Their Royal Highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."

Separately, a palace spokesman told CNN: "At no point did the palace complain to the hospital about the incident. On the contrary, we offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and hospital staff at all times."

The hospital's chief executive, John Lofthouse, said, "Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague."

London's Metropolitan Police said they were notified around 9:35 a.m. (4:35 a.m. ET) on Friday that a woman was found unconscious. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are treating the death as "unexplained," they said.

Audio of the call posted online suggested a woman spoke briefly to the DJs, who host a show for the 2Day FM radio station in Sydney, before the call was put through to the ward early Tuesday morning.

The hospital said Wednesday that it deeply regretted the call had been put through.

Read more: Radio DJs pretend to be queen, make prank call to Catherine's hospital

The radio show apologized for the call Wednesday, saying it "was done with light-hearted intentions."

Its two DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, continued to tweet about the call on Thursday and earlier Friday, promising "more on the #royalprank."

By Friday evening, a spokeswoman for the station told CNN in a statement that the pair will "not return to the show until further notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy." She said Greig and Christian were "deeply shocked" by the incident.

The Twitter accounts for the pair were taken down.

Talking about the call on air Thursday, Greig said: "They were the world's worst accents ever. We were sure 100 people at least before us would've tried the same thing. ... We were expecting to be hung up on -- we didn't even know what to say when we got through."

Angry comments have been posted on the 2Day FM Facebook page since the news of the nurse's death broke.

"This death is on your conscience," reads one post. Another says, "Blood on your hands."

In the immediate aftermath of the prank and well before the nurse's suicide, the radio station's Web page saw equally outraged comments from listeners, and they outnumbered postings from those who liked the hoax.

"Your stunt was done at a time in this country where there is paranoia about the intrusion of the media into people's lives," Gary Slenders wrote in a posting. "I know you will say it is harmless fun, the management of 2DayFM will say that it won't happen again, but this exactly where the phone hacking scandal started."

There were some immediate supporters of the prank, however.

"It is only a joke people! it was great i love it!!!" wrote one listener who identified himself as Guido.

But after news of the nurse's suicide circulated, the public comments on the radio station's Web page became outraged.

"This pair have undone all the good work Australia have done in the last century," a person named Riz wrote. "The Australian people should be outraged at the pair of them. They've brought disgrace on your country - and the whole world knows it!"

"Not so funny now is it," Heather wrote. "This will darken the whole pregnancy experience for William and Kate. Before you do these thoughtless, ignorant - UN-funny things, remember - God is watching you."

Pregnancy and privacy: Royal Catherine's dilemma

CNN's Laura Perez Maestro, Elizabeth Joseph and Michael Martinez contributed to this report.

0
Comments »
  • Print
  • Email
  • More sharing
By CapitalBay Online 12/07/2012 04:17:00
View All

MOST READ NEWS

Socialize

@Capitalbay1 You can follow the latest updates on Twitter, Capitalbay News website

ENTERTAINMENT

Chelsea Handler Had a Breast Lift Done Ahead of 40th Birthday

Chelsea Handler has an extra boost of confidence when it comes to freeing the nipple — the comedienne underwent a breast lift six months ago,
Chelsea Handler Had a Breast Lift Done Ahead of 40th Birthday

Bobbi Kristina Brown Turns 22; Nick Gordon Threatens to End His Life on Twitter

It's now been almost five weeks since Bobbi Kristina Brown was found unconscious in her bathtub. She has remained in a coma ever since, and
Bobbi Kristina Brown Turns 22; Nick Gordon Threatens to End His Life on Twitter

Cinderella star Lily James hits back at criticism of her corseted shape waist in film's trailers

It hasn’t taken Cinderella actress Lily James too long to hit back at criticism of her oh-so-slim waist in the recent trailer for the film.The
Cinderella star Lily James hits back at criticism of her corseted shape waist in film's trailers

Jessica Simpson channels famous Daisy Duke in her latest campaign shoot

It's been 10 years since she donned those teeny ripped denim shorts for the 2005 comedy Dukes Of Hazzard.And Jessica Simpson, 34, looks better than
Jessica Simpson channels famous Daisy Duke in her latest campaign shoot

Rapper Vanilla Ice on Burglary Arrest: 'It's a Mess'

Vanilla Ice is just trying to deal.On Feb 18, the former rapper (real name: Robert Van Winkle), 47, was arrested and charged with burglary of
Rapper Vanilla Ice on Burglary Arrest: 'It's a Mess'

Taylor Swift Vows to Never Talk About Tension With Katy Perry

If there really is tension between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, as has been rumored for months, Taylor isn't going to address it with reporters.The
Taylor Swift Vows to Never Talk About Tension With Katy Perry

Ludacris and wife Eudoxie are expecting

Ludacris’ wife Eudoxie is pregnant! The couple confirmed the rumored news with a sweet Instagram photo on Sunday, March 1.In the picture, Eudoxie bares her
Ludacris and wife Eudoxie are expecting

Recent Comments

SUBSCRIBE MAILING LIST

By subscribing You will recieve our latest news. Your information will not be shared with anyone.