Royal Prank Call Nurse Jacintha Saldanha Made Previous Suicide Attempts, It’s Alleged
It’s claimed that Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse found hanged after being duped by a prank call to the hospital that treated the Duchess of Cambridge, made two previous suicide attempts.
According to The Sun, Mrs. Saldanha was first admitted to hospital after taking an overdose of pills during a family visit to India last December.
Shortly afterwards the mother of two made another suicide attempt by throwing herself off a building, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Subsequently treated for depression and admitted to a psychiatric ward at the Father Muller Medical College Hospital in Mangalore, India, Mrs. Saldana’s brother Naveen Saldanha, 42, said:
“We didn’t know about the first incident, but we knew about the second.”
Naveen told The Times of India that his sister did not discuss her alleged previous suicide attempts but said he had visited his sister while she was in the Father Muller Medical College hospital.
“Jacintha never wanted the family to know of the incident and we played a behind-the-scene role,” said Naveen.
“We told [our] ailing mother [Carmine] that Jacintha was admitted to hospital for blood pressure problems.”
The extraordinary new information comes after Scotland Yard submitted a file asking the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service to consider whether the two Australian 2Day FM DJ’s — Mel Greig and Michael Christian — have committed any criminal offences.
On December 4, Greig and Christian impersonated the Queen and Prince Charles and called the King Edward VII hospital where Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was being treated for acute morning sickness.
Mrs. Saldanha, 46, answered the DJ’s call first and unwittingly transferred the call to a nurse on the Duchess’ ward. It was the second nurse who divulged details about Duchess’ condition to the radio presenters.
After Mrs. Saldanha’s body was discovered days later, an international blame game played out between 2Day FM parent company, Southern Austereo Cross, the hospital, and the Saldanha family’s spokesman, British lawmaker Keith Vaz.
The nurse was buried last week in her husband’s village of Shirva in India. It was attended by her extended and immediate family — husband Benedict Barboza and two teenage children, Junal, 16 and Lisha, 14 — and hundreds of mourners.
In addition to a recently opened inquest into Mrs. Saldana’s death, Mr. Vaz has called for the King Edward VII Hospital to conduct its own inquiry so that the “full facts” can be revealed.
After The Guardian reported that Mrs. Saldana left three suicide notes, one of which “criticized hospital staff,” questions about the hospital’s treatment of the nurse continue to be asked.
It remains to be seen whether new reports of Mrs. Saldanha’s alleged previous suicide attempts will affect the ongoing investigations by the Metropolitan police and Australia’s Communications and Media Authority into the conduct of Grieg and Christian and Southern Austereo Cross.