SYDNEY (AP) They say they expected a hang-up and a few laughs. Instead, the Australian DJs behind a hoax phone call to the London hospital where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was being treated were deeply apologetic Monday as they described how their joke ended up going too far.
The phone call in which they impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles went through, and their station broadcast and even trumpeted the confidential information received. Whatever pride there had been over the hoax was obliterated by worldwide public outrage after Friday's death of Jacintha Saldanha, the first nurse they talked to.
"There's not a minute that goes by that we don't think about her family and what they must be going through," 2DayFM radio host Mel Greig told Australia's "A Current Affair," her voice shaking. "And the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching."
Police have not disclosed the cause of Saldanha's death, but many have assumed it was related to the stress from the call. An autopsy is being held Tuesday.
Prime Minister David Cameron said at a luncheon Monday that "the suicide of this nurse, who worked incredibly hard and obviously was incredibly dedicated ... is an absolute tragedy."