Tags: nurse | prank | kate | suicide

Jacintha Saldanha: Middleton Prank Call Nurse Commits Apparent Suicide

Friday, 07 Dec 2012 11:02 AM

By Dale Eisinger

A nurse at the hospital that was treating a pregnant Kate Middleton was found dead Friday, an apparent suicide, just two days after she fooled by a pair of Australian radio personalities into connecting their prank phone call with the nurse treating the royal, the Daily Mail reported.

The nurse’s body was found early Friday morning close to the King Edward VII Hospital, a private medical facility where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness. Emergency services were dispatched to the residence, including two ambulances.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. She has been identified by the hospital as Jacintha Saldanha, and she had worked there for more than four years. The hospital also confirmed she was the person who put the prank call through to the nurse who shared personal information with the DJs.

Scotland Yard said the death was “unexplained,” according to the Mail, but a source also told the British tabloid that the woman appeared to have killed herself.

On Wednesday, Australian radio DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian of the station 2Day FM called the hospital pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. The DJs, little-known before the prank, were able to get through to Middleton’s personal nurse after the Saldanha forwarded on the call.

Shortly after the news broke, Kate and William offered their condolences.

"Their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha’s family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time," a statement said.

In the prank phone call — broadcast live and promoted heavily by the radio station — Greig impersonated the Queen of England.

“Oh, hello there,” she said. “Could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter?”

Believing she was speaking to the Queen, the receptionist replied, “Oh yes, just hold on ma’am.”

The DJs eventually apologized for the call but have yet to comment on the receptionist’s death.

“We were very surprised that our call was put through, we thought we'd be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents,” Greig and Christian told The Guardian newspaper.

The station went on record to apologize as well:

“2Day FM sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused by the enquiry to Kate's hospital, the radio segment was done with light-hearted intentions, we wish Kate and her family all the best and we're glad to hear she's doing well,” read a tweet from the company.

Update: Following Suicide of Nurse, Middleton Prank DJs Taken Off Air

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