- (Photo: REUTERS/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool)
The British nurse who took her own life after falling victim to a prank call by two Australian DJs pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles left a suicide note to her family, it has been revealed.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was found dead on Friday, two days after answering the phone at King Edward VII Hospital in London and putting through 2Day FM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian to speak to an on-duty nurse. The second nurse informed them about the condition of Duchess Kate Middleton, who had been suffering from acute morning sickness after news of her pregnancy with Prince William made headlines around the world.
The DJs used rather unconvincing accents pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, and even mimicked the royal corgis barking in the background. After news of her death, which was described as a "tragedy" by the hospital, 2Day FM issued an apology, while Greig and Christian gave an interview describing their grave regret at what happened, with the latter saying that he was "gutted, shattered, heartbroken" by the incident.
Details about Saldanha's suicide are still emerging, The Mirror reported, and police have understood that a suicide note was left for the family -- husband Benedict Barboza and children Junal, 17, and 14-year-old Lisha -- although its contents were not revealed.
"He's very angry about all the proceedings, not only about the DJs but all the handling of the situation in the hospital. He feels very angry about the hospital management," said Stephen Almeida, a close friend of the family, said of Saldanha's husband. "He's been full of stress about the whole thing. It's not a very nice time."
The hospital has denied that Saldanha received any form of punishment for transferring the DJs over to the Duchess' nurse, although it has not been clear what actions, if any, they took.
Labor MP (Member of Parliament) Keith Vaz, who is representing the family, called for a full inquiry into the nurse's death.
"What the chairman of the hospital said to me was that there are inquiries going on in the hospital…That is not sufficient for the family. There are unexplained circumstances. The family want to know everything. All the facts, fully and clearly," Vaz said, according to The Independent.
The Labor MP described the family as "close-knit Catholic," who will now be spending their first Christmas without the wife and mother.
The Australian radio station has said that it will cancel its Christmas party, while Southern Cross Austereo, the company that owns 2Day FM, will be donating over $500,000 to a fund set up for the family by the King Edward VII Hospital, Radar Online shared.