Two Australian DJs at the heart of an international hoax aimed at the pregnant wife of Prince William have been removed from their posts and their show has been cancelled, following the death of a nurse who took a prank call from the pair.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian "will not return to the airwaves until further notice," a statement from the network, Southern Cross Austereo, said. Grieg and Christian were impersonating Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth Tuesday when they called the hospital at which Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton had been admitted for acute morning sickness. On Friday, Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who put the call through to Middleton’s personal attendant, was found dead, of an apparent suicide.
Greig and Christian spoke out about the incident for the first time Monday, telling the Australian program A Current Affair how remorseful they were.
"The joke 100 percent was on us," Christian said. "The idea was never, 'Let's call up and get through to Kate,' or 'Let's speak to a nurse.' The joke was our accents are horrible, they don't sound anything like who they're intended to be."
"The entertainment value was in us," Greig said. "It was meant to be in our silly accents. That's where it was meant to end."
"There's not a minute that goes by that we don't think about her family and what they must be going through. And the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching," Christian added.
The pair may now face criminal charges, as police launch an investigation into the death.
Rhys Holleran, CEO of Southern Cross Austereo, said that no laws had been broken during the prank.
"I think the more important question here is that we're very confident that we haven't done anything illegal. Our main concern at this point in time is what has happened is incredibly tragic and we're deeply saddened and we're incredibly affected by that," Holleran said in a statement.
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