Wow, 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