Reports: Nurse in Princess Kate prank call dies in suspected suicide
By Staff and AP reports
LONDON (KPTV/AP) -
A nurse who fell victim to a prank telephone
call seeking information about the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy has
died, a hospital said Friday.
Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was
found dead early Friday at apartments affiliated with King Edward VII
hospital in central London, where she worked for four years.
haven't confirmed her cause of death, but multiple news outlets in
England, citing sources, reported it was suicide.
2DayFM, the Australian
station that performed the prank early Tuesday, said in a statement
posted on Facebook and Twitter that two disc jockeys, Mel Greig and
Michael Christian, would not return to the station until further notice.
They had apologized for the hoax Wednesday.
Saldanha took the hoax call
by the pair, who impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles to
elicit information on the duchess, the hospital said. Saldanha later
transferred the call to the nurse caring for the duchess, who was
admitted to the hospital Monday with acute morning sickness.
"Our thoughts and deepest
sympathies at this time are with her family and friends," hospital chief
executive John Lofthouse said in a statement. "Everyone is shocked by
the loss of a much loved and valued colleague."
St. James's Palace, the
office of the duchess and her husband Prince William, also expressed
sadness at the death, but insisted that it had not complained about the
"On the contrary, we
offered our full and heartfelt support to the nurses involved and
hospital staff at all times," the palace said in a statement.
Saldanha's family asked for privacy in a statement issued through London police.
"We as a family are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Jacintha," the statement said.
During the hoax call, a
woman using the often-mimicked voice of Britain's monarch asked about
the duchess' health. She was told by the second nurse who took the call
from Saldanha that the duchess, the former Kate Middleton, "hasn't had
any retching with me and she's been sleeping on and off."
The nurse went on to tell
the personalities that the duchess had had an uneventful night, as a dog
barking sound was heard in the background. The alleged queen and prince
talk about traveling to the hospital to check in on the patient.
The hospital said it supported Saldanha in the aftermath of the call and that its phone protocols were under review.
The Australian station placed the recording of the conversation on its website, but later said it was sorry.
"We were very surprised
that our call was put through. We thought we'd be hung up on as soon as
they heard our terrible accents," Greig and Christian said in a joint
statement with the station at the time. "We're very sorry if we've
caused any issues and we're glad to hear that Kate is doing well."
The station's chief
executive officer, Rhys Holleran, had spoken with the presenters after
the nurse's death, and that both were deeply shocked. The hosts "have
decided that they will not return to their radio show until further
notice out of respect for what can only be described as a tragedy."
Christian's Twitter account has since been taken down.
Officials from St. James's
Palace have said the duchess is not yet 12 weeks pregnant. The child
would be the first for her and Prince William.
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