Kate Middleton Phone Hoax: 5 Latest Developments in Nurse Jacintha Saldanha's Death
The Australian radio station behind the royal prank call to Kate Middleton's hospital will donate at least $524,000 to the family of late nurse Jacintha Saldanha.
Saldanha was found dead from an apparent suicide on Friday, just three days after being duped the Sydney-based DJs impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. After answering the hoax call at London's King Edward VII's Hospital, Saldanha put 2DayFM hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian through to the ward of Prince William's pregnant wife, who was suffering from acute morning sickness.
After coming under fire following Saldanha's death, media group Southern Cross Austereo suspended advertising on its 2DayFM radio station. When it resumes on Thursday, Austereo will donate all the profits until the end of the year to a fund that will directly benefit Saldanha's family.
"We are very sorry for what has happened," said Rhys Holleran, chief executive of Southern Cross Austereo, in a statement on Tuesday. "We hope that by contributing to a memorial fund we can help to provide the Saldanha family with the support they need at this very difficult time."
Read on for the latest developments in the aftermath of the royal prank.
1. Radio DJs may be questioned by British officials. The Metropolitan Police have contacted the Australian embassy to ensure the 2DayFM radio hosts, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, would assist the investigation into the death of the King Edward VII Hospital nurse. "It hasn't been indicated to us that an offense has occurred, and [the Met] have not actually asked for anything yet," said New South Wales police deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas. "They've simply touched base, let us know of their interest and they will get back to us if they actually want something done."
2. 2DayFM cancels Christmas party. The radio station behind the royal prank has called off its holiday soiree in a show of respect for Saldanha. The company will instead donate the Christmas party costs to Beyond Blue and Lifeline, two Australian charities that handle emotional, life-threatening problems. "This is no time for celebration at Southern Cross Austereo Sydney," an Austereo spokeswoman said.
3. Post-mortem of Jacintha Saldanha. The Metropolitan Police announced that a post-mortem examination of the late nurse is set to take place at Westminster Mortuary in London on Tuesday.
5. Radio station claims it tried to contact hospital before airing prank call. Rhys Holleran, chief executive of Southern Cross Austereo, said Monday that his station attempted to contact King Edward II's Hospital "no less than five times" before broadcasting the hoax. A spokesperson for the London hospital, however, maintained that no one from senior management nor the media inquiries team had spoken to 2DayFM before the pre-recorded call hit airwaves.