Kate hoax RJs 'heartbroken' over nurse death

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 19:41 hrs

The Australian radio hosts whose prank on nurse Jacintha Saldanha is suspected to have resulted in her killing herself have said that they were "gutted and heartbroken" over the death of the woman.

The Indian-origin nurse, who took a prank call from an Australian radio station and divulged medical information about the pregnant duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, was found dead on Friday.

After convincing 46-year-old Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the phone, that they were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, two Australian RJs then tricked another nurse into disclosing details of Kate, who had been admitted with acute morning sickness.

The call was broadcast in Australia and consequently, it went out around the world.

Saldanha, a mother of two, reportedly committed suicide. Police are refusing to divulge details.

In an interview for Channel Nine, The two radio presenters Mel Greig and Michael Christian wept as they said "not a minute goes by where we don´t think about her family".

Asked what his immediate reaction had been when they heard about the death in the early hours of Saturday morning, Christian wept and said: "Shattered, gutted, heartbroken and obviously you know.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the family and the friends," he said.

They had expected to be hung up, Greg said adding, "The accents were terrible. You know it was designed to be stupid. We were never meant to get that far from the little corgis barking in the background - we obviously wanted it to be a joke".

The incident had earlier evoked a response from Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who called it a "terrible tragedy".

The two radio presenters were taken off air indefinitely after the incident.

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