Radio host behind royal prank on Kate Middleton left battling "suicidal thoughts"

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Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images
Photo credit: Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

An Australian radio host who pranked Kate Middleton whilst she was pregnant has opened up about how the incident impacted her, revealing she's been left battling "suicidal thoughts" years later.

To recap, Mel Greig – who was working at Sydney's 2Day FM at the time – and co-host Mike Christian phoned King Edward VII Hospital in London (where Kate had been admitted in December 2012 for nausea during her pregnancy with Prince George) "to see how quickly we could get hung up on".

But, to the hosts' surprise, they were "immediately transferred to the private nurse of the Duchess (of Cambridge)". During the call, the pair pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles, and tricked nurse Jacintha Saldanha into transferring their call to a colleague who went on to reveal private details about Kate's condition.

Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid - Getty Images
Photo credit: Peter Macdiarmid - Getty Images

The prank call, which was aired on the radio show, went viral but just days later was linked to the suicide of Saldanha who, in a suicide note, blamed the Australian DJs. Two years later, a coroner's investigation into the nurse's death found in 2014 that her suicide could be attributed only partly to the pressure that followed the prank, in addition to difficulties she'd been having with a colleague at work.

"I am so sorry for your loss. I have wanted to say that to you for so long," Greig told Saldanha's family at the coroner's inquest.

Now, 10 years on from the tragic incident, Greig has spoken out about the "unbearable" guilt she's faced following the 46-year-old's decision to take her own life. "A family lost their wife and mother and to be accused of playing a role in taking her life was beyond devastating," she told Australia's Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

Photo credit: AFP - Getty Images
Photo credit: AFP - Getty Images

"Online trolls told me to kill myself every day, no one would employ me. Charities wouldn't even let me stuff envelopes behind the scenes. I was a tarnished and broken woman," Greig added.

The former host went on the note that being known as the "Royal prank DJ" caused her to lose friends, jobs, opportunities and her identity, leaving her battling "suicidal thoughts".

Samaritans are here to listen, day or night, whenever anyone needs, providing a safe and confidential space to talk openly and honestly. Whatever you are going through, you don’t have to face it alone. Call Samaritans free on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org.

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