• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Australian DJs apologize publicly for royal hoax call in interview

December 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The Australian radio DJs behind the royal hospital hoax that ended with a nurse's death are speaking out in a televised interview.

Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who are responsible for a prank call to the Duchess of Cambridge's hospital, said they're devastated.

The two radio disc jockeys came out of hiding to do the interviews and broke down in tears describing how shocked and horrified they were to learn that the nurse who took their prank call, identified as Jacintha Saldanha, wound up dead three days later in an apparent suicide.

Since the death, people around the world have responded with outrage, many have even sent the DJs death threats.

The idea for the call came up in a team meeting, according to the DJs, who say the intended humor in the prank was that they expected to be hung up on immediately.

"The idea was never let's call up and get through to Kate or let's speak to a nurse. The joke was our accents are horrible," Christian told Australia's "A Current Affair." "They don't sound anything like they're intended to be."

Greig said the call was designed to be stupid.

"The entertainment value was in us. It was meant to be in our silly accents," Greig added. "That's where it was meant to end, it was just meant to be us being silly getting hung up on."

Saldanha answered the phone at the hospital and transferred the prank call to a fellow nurse who gave the DJs confidential information about the duchess' medical condition.

"Mel and myself are incredibly sorry for the situation and what's happened," Christian said, moved to tears. "We hope that they're doing OK and they're getting the love and support that they deserve and need right now."

Greig is also touched by the grief caused by the tragic event.

"There's not a minute that goes by that we don't think about her family and what they must be going through," Greig told Australia's "A Current Affair." "And the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching."

Meantime, there are reports that the Duchess has suffered another bout of severe morning sickness, which is referred to as Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Prince William even canceled a public appearance at the British Military Tournament to be by his wife's side.

The DJs have been taken off the air indefinitely but not fired. Their station boss, Southern Cross Austereo chairman Max-Moore Wilton, says no laws were broken but that the company will cooperate with any investigation. Australian authorities said London police had contacted them about a possible investigation into the matter.

According to Scotland Yard, the post mortem examination for Saldanha is scheduled to take place Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments