Nurse Jacintha Saldanha, dead of a suspected suicide late last week, is said to have “died of shame” by British news sources — as the radio DJs whose prank prompted her worldwide humiliation speak out for the first time on the royal medical attendant’s sudden and tragic death.
Jacintha Saldanha was one of the nurses in attendance to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, as she convalesced in King Edward VII Hospital in central London, suffering her first bout of hyperemesis gravidarum. Middleton’s illness was the first news confirming the royal pregnancy as well an uncharacteristically available-to-the-media location for the young royal. Not only was press aware of Her Highness’ illness but also of her exact location until she was released.
And nurse Jacintha Saldanha was a sad casualty of the confluence of circumstance. As Kate was admitted and her illness became public knowledge, as media outlets worldwide knew of the situation, as the first royal baby in 30-ish years became a story — Saldanha was caught in the crosshairs.
Now Sydney-based 2DayFM DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian say they are “shattered, gutted, heartbroken,” and, rather ironically in a totally not amusing way, the pair have gotten a taste of the scorn they inflicted on Saldanha before she was driven to take her own life.
Greig says when she learned nurse Jacintha had apparently committed suicide, she thought first of her family:
“Unfortunately I remember that moment very well, because I haven’t stopped thinking about it since it happened … I remember my first question was ‘was she a mother?'”