DJs in Kate Middleton Prank Taken Off the Air Indefinitely Following Nurse’s Death

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RadioWow, it's hard to imagine that a seemingly innocent yet totally juvenile prank would end with such tragedy. We all heard about how a couple of Australian radio hosts pranked a nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, working at the hospital Kate Middleton was admitted to, King Edward VII Hospital, due to her morning sickness. With some really terrible accents, they were able to dupe the nurse, who was the receptionist at the time, into thinking they were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. They joked about it and audio of the prank went viral. Then, suddenly, the receptionist who took the call was found dead.

It seemed the call infuriated Buckingham Palace, and those involved in the call had no problems boasting how they were able to trick the royals. But now, after Jacintha seemingly committed suicide, the radio hosts, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, have been taken off air in light of this terrible news. Many are calling for them to be fired.

The 46-year-old married mother of two was pronounced dead at the scene, her body located a few yards away from the hospital. Authorities are investigating exactly how she died, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are "deeply saddened" by Saldanha's death, they said in a statement to BBC News.

Wow, can you even imagine? Poor Kate -- first dealing with such morning sickness that she had to be hospitalized, and now a prank that involves her pregnancy has caused one of the nurses working in that hospital to reportedly kill herself. Talk about a prank gone completely awry and putting a totally unforeseen damper on what should be such a joyous occasion.

And this news is even harder to swallow in light of this morning -- the radio hosts reveled in boasting about the prank. They said during their "Hot30" Countdown show that this was "easiest prank call ever made." Greig said: "They were the worst accents ever and when we made that phone call, we were sure 100 people at least before us would have tried the same thing." And a banner on the radio station's website once proclaimed it to be the "biggest royal prank ever". I can't imagine the effect this had on Jacintha and the backlash she must have faced.

Now, both radio hosts have deleted their Twitter accounts, were pulled off the air, cannot speak to the media, and it seems after this haitus, they may get fired as well. And even though they probably had no idea this prank would have led to these consequences (bah, hindsight), I think everyone's disgusted enough by this whole incident that we never want to hear their voices again. Not only was Kate's privacy violated, they seemed to have pushed an already troubled woman to the edge if she were feeling so lost that she thought she had no choice but to leave her husband and children behind. Hopefully this will make people think twice about publicly humiliating others -- but wow, what a start to the saga that is the Royal Baby.

Do you think those Australian radio hosts should be fired?


Image via S. Diddy/Flickr

crime, cyberbullying, death, in the news, kate middleton, politics, royal couple


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dirti... dirtiekittie

i don't think i'm going to be a member of popular opinion here - but no, i don't think they should be fired. nor do i hold them accountable for the nurse's death. was it a stupid prank? yes, it was. and not to use the "everybody else does it"... but people are acting like this is the first time dj's on the radio have played pranks that ended badly. does anybody else have segments called "War of the Roses"? those can be pretty terrible too, and if you get a jealous spouse, someone actually could end up hurt!  

i feel terribly for this woman that she felt suicide was her only option and that she leaves a devastated family in the wake of this tragedy. but how could she do that to her children? did the royals put some pressure on the hospital? was she warned she could be fired? who knows, but i think the whole "OMG they're royals and you must NEVER speak to them or about them!" mentality from the British government is just as much to blame as a stupid prank played by a couple of radio dj's. 

Tracey Plummer

There is a local station near me that does a segment on dead beat dads that is disgusting. Instead of trying to help or make any kind of change, they just see how mad they can get the person and how many cuss words they can bleep out. It's horrible because it's only for shock value. The thing is, this is what gets shows on the air these days. You have to be able to out-shock the other djs, or no one will listen to you, which makes me wonder, is it the dj's, or is it our society? This is why I listen to KLOVE and AirOne instead.

cmjaz cmjaz

Dirtie, I know its the royals but I think ANY woman should be able to expect medical privacy, no matter who she is. But you're right, its not the djs fault.

nonmember avatar dave

These are the same people who a few years ago they got a mom to bring her daughter in to take an on air lie detector test. One of the questions asked was if she was a virgin and she told her about the time when she was 12. The DJs kept ribbing her to tell and thats when she was bullied into telling all of the listners that she was raped. They were on a 5 year probation for that. Does anyone know if it's illegal to do pretend your royalty in order to get information. I know if you pretend to be a cop you're in trouble

dirti... dirtiekittie

@cmjaz - oh no, i actually agree with you. i meant the whole 'not talking about/to them' thing as a general consensus among the Brits - God save the Queen and all that. but yeah, i agree that kate middleton should have had some privacy. unfortunately, that's just not going to happen. i don't agree with it, but alas, that's the life of someone in a public position. 

fleur... fleurdelys3110

I also do not think the DJ's are at fault. I'm sure if they had known someone would've killed themself over the prank, they never would have done it.

nonmember avatar Mandy

I don't know. I think that maybe they should lose their jobs. I think it was prank and they didn't set out to hurt a person but then again they did. They hurt not only Kate for invading her privacy but also the person who also was hurt for her mistakes in revealing information. It sucks but in the real world you do a prank there are consequences to your actions. You prank a woman and she ends up dead the next day or so, you are stuck with the consequences even if there are unintended results.

kelti... kelticmom

I don't think this "prank" was funny in the least. Who knows what this poor woman had going on in her life. I'm a nurse here in the U.S., and if I broke HPPA on a patient, especially to the media, intentionally or not, I would be disciplined, fired immediately, could lose my license, etc. Not to mention this was a VIP. Not only was she fearful of losing her job, but now she was a laughingstock and scapegoat. Those DJ's are cruel, uncaring people. Just look at the history of their show. Despicable.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Should they be fired over the nurse? No. There is no way they could have predicted that she would take her own life over this. As it stands now, we are all assuming that this is why she did it. It could turn out that there was a bunch of other crap going on in her life and either this was already planned, or this was the straw that broke the camel's back, and if it wasn't this, it could have been the guy on the tube on the way home who was rude to her. Or we could find out that it was a heart attack, and completely unrelated.

But, should they be fired for being jackasses who (according to a poster above) broke their already-imposed probation? Absolutely.

I'd also like to know what the heck is going on with that hospital's security measures that any Joe off the street can call up using a bad English accent, say that they're the Queen, and get thru to the Duchess' Private Nurse. You'd think they'd have a little higher standards than that.

Tripl... TripleC14

If the station didn't stop the prank when it was going on and didn't fire them immediately afterwards when it was revealed worldwide, then they were clearly ok with it. So no, of course they shouldn't be fired now.

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