- (Photo: REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool)
The two Australian Djs being widely criticized for the infamous Kate Middleton prank call broke their silence Monday, just days after the suspected suicide death of British nurse Jacintha Saldanha.
Mel Greig, 30, and Michael Christian, 25, from 2Day FM radio station in Sydney gave an emotional account of how the recent tragedy left them both shattered. The pair duped Saldanha by posing as The Queen and Prince Charles in a bid to obtain personal information about the Duchess of Cambridge days before the mother of two was found dead.
"The first thing I asked was: 'Was she a mother?' If we played any involvement in her death then we're very sorry. We couldn't foresee what was going to happen," Greig told Channel 7's "Today Tonight."
"I've thought about it a million times. I want to reach out to [the family] and just give them a big hug and say 'sorry.' I hope they're OK. I really do," she said in a separate interview with Channel 9's "A Current Affair."
The Djs called King Edward VII Hospital in London, where Middleton, 30, was admitted just one day after developing hyperemesis gravidarum, and lied their way through to the Duchess' personal nurse.
During the prank call Greig was heard saying "Oh, hello there. Could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter?"
Saldanha assumed that she was speaking with the Queen of England and replied "oh yes, just hold on ma'am" before transferring the call to Middleton's personal nurse. The nurse then divulged personal details about Middleton's condition.
"There is not a minute that goes by where we don't think about [Saldanha's] family and what they must be going through," a sobbing Greig explained. "The thought that we may have played a part in that is gut wrenching."
Mr Christian, who appeared glum and at one point fought back tears, said that he hoped Saldanha's family get the love, support and care that they need during this time.
The pair were immediately taken off the air until further notice following growing backlash from various critics.
King Edward VII Hospital's chairman, Lord Glenarthur, accused the radio station of "humiliating two dedicated and caring nurses."
However 2Day-FM chairman Max Moore-Wilton argued that while Saldanha's death was "tragic" the outcome "was unforeseeable." Both British and Australian police forces are currently investigating the matter and it is still unclear whether Greig and Christian will face any charges.