Mel Greig, a DJ with the Australian radio station 2Day Sydney, has resigned her position. Greig, along with her co-presenter, Michael Christian, had played a prank on a British nurse. The nurse later took her own life. The reader may recall the incident and the following acknowledges the The Guardian newspaper’s reporting of the incident.
Greig and Christian made a hoax call to London’s King Edward VII hospital last year and, posing as the Queen and the Prince of Wales, got through to a ward where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was being treated. A nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, 46, a mother of two teenage children, was the member of staff who had answered the call at 5.30 a.m.
Jacintha Saldana put the call through to a duty nurse, who then divulged intimate medical details of the duchess’s condition to the presenters. Three days later Jacintha Saldana was found dead at her lodgings close to the King Edward VII hospital.
In a statement, St James’s Palace said that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were “deeply saddened” at the news of the nurse’s death. A St James’s Palace spokesman added that the palace had “at no point” complained about the hoax incident.
After the prank, it was reported that Prince Charles appeared to brush off the incident, joking with reporters when he arrived at an event at HMS Belfast: “How do you know I’m not a radio station?” The hospital, which is the medical institution of choice for the royal family, was, however, deeply embarrassed by the incident.
The hoax made international headlines and, delighted with the success of what they had called “the easiest prank call ever”, Greig and Christian had been replaying the call on the radio station. But, as news of the Jacintha Saldana’s death broke, the duo, said to be “deeply shocked”, took down their Twitter accounts and the station announced they would not return to their radio show until further notice.
Mel Greig had apparently been in dispute with Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), the company responsible for the radio station programme on which Greig and Christian worked. She had filed a claim alleging that the company had “failed to maintain a safe workplace”.
Greig wanted it “made clear” that she was not responsible for the decision to broadcast the call, and that before it was aired she had suggested changes. SCA said the company had “at all times taken complete responsibility for the hoax call and the company maintained its view that the recording and broadcasting of the call was not unlawful”.
Mel Greig is to give a statement to the UK coroner’s inquest into nurse Saldanha’s death. SCA added it would also be cooperating with the inquiry.
In the event the DJ that perpetrated the hoax does not take responsibility for broadcasting it. So, morally it was OK! SCA takes responsibility for broadcasting the hoax but not for its perpetration and believes it was not unlawful. So, legally it was OK! It is further reported that Greig and SCA had “amicably resolved all aspects of the dispute”. Charles Windsor had contrived a lamentable piece of humour out of the tragedy. So, everything’s alright, then!
In the meantime, the coroner’s inquest into the nurse’s suicide as a consequence of the hoax goes on.