Australian radio DJ says Royal prank call to Duchess of Cambridge's hospital contributed to her divorce

Greig says she does not want sympathy for the collapse of her marriage

Olivia Blair
Monday 19 August 2019 11:00 BST
Australian DJ Mel Greig at centre of Duchess of Cambridge scandal said it cost her her marriage

The Australian DJ who was at the centre of a royal prank scandal has said the incident cost her her marriage.

In 2012, Mel Greig and her co-host Michael Christian prank called the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge had been admitted with acute morning sickness during her first pregnancy with Prince George. Greig and Christian impersonated the Queen and Prince Charles during the call which was subsequently broadcast on their radio show in Australia.

Jacintha Saldhana, a nurse at the hospital, answered the call; three days later she was found dead after killing herself. Greig and Christian were subsequently taken off air amid mass global news interest.

Five years later, Greig has spoken about the moment she found out about the death of Saldanha.

“I was in bed, my partner was on Twitter, and he was just reading these messages saying: ‘You’ve got blood on your hands, shame on you, go hang yourself,’” she told BBC Radio 5 Live. “And he woke me up just as I was getting phone calls from work and that’s how I found out.

She said she does not remember what happened next: “There’s six hours of my life completely lost. All I know is, my partner at the time said he stood on the balcony because he was that fearful that I was going to jump off. That I was that hysterical, because, it was instant.

“You can’t explain how you can feel so much guilt and shock all at once and you completely melt down. And it’s like you’re floating above yourself, looking down, you’re completely distant to reality.”

Greig said she later married her partner Steve Pollock in November, 2014 however they recently divorced, with Greig attributing part of the marriage breakdown to the prank call.

“It [the prank call] played a huge part in our marriage not being as successful because we were not living a normal life for two years and I was battling major depression and he made some very big and stupid mistakes for a couple of years during that time. And we were better off moving forward with their our own lives without each other,” she said.

An inquest into Ms Saldanha’s death in 2014 concluded the 46-year-old had taken her own life. The radio station Southern Cross Austereo donated $A500,000 to the family. Greig appeared at the inquest and tearfully apologised to the family saying the “tragedy will always stay with me and serve as a constant reminder”.

Greig told the BBC that although she was speaking publicly about the collapse of her marriage she did not want sympathy.

“I have lost a lot but I’m not going to sit here and go, ‘Poor me’ because the Saldanha family lost a mother, a wife. If this is what I have to sacrifice that’s how it is.”

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