The Australian radio DJ behind a prank call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated, which led to the suicide of a nurse, has revealed her life is still affected seven years on.
Mel Greig, 36, hit headlines with her 2Day FM radio co-host Mike Christian in 2012 when they pretended to be the Queen and Prince Charles in a prank call to the King Edward VII hospital.
Nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who was duped by the pair to transfer the call, later took her own life.
Seven years on, Mel said that she’s ‘been given a profile that won’t go away’, and that her relationship and job prospects are still affected.
Appearing on This Morning via a VT from Sydney, Australia, Mel explained that she wants to use her media platform to help those who have been effected by mental health issues, and children who are victims of online bullying and trolling.
Australian radio DJ Mel Greig appeared on This Morning to talk about her plans to help people seven years on from the royal prank call controversy
Mel and her co-host Mike Christian called the King Edward VII hospital in London where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness in 2012
‘I got to a point where I thought, I’m going to be in the press, I may as well make it for a good reason,’ she said.
‘Whether it’s talking about endometriosis, or whether it’s mental health or helping children who are told to kill themselves, and do kill themselves, I try and raise awareness for all of those things with the platform I’ve been given.’
During the interview with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, Mel admitted that she thought about ending her life after hearing about what happened to Jacintha.
‘If I’m perfectly honest, it’s been hard to live. About six months after the prank call, I contemplated whether I should still be here,’ she admitted.
‘I thought about whether it was an option for me.
‘I remember sitting there on the bathroom floor, just thinking, “am I ever going to get through this? Is this what my life is like now?”, and I came to a conclusion that it was absolutely not the answer for me and it should never be the answer for anyone.
‘In that moment when I chose life, I decided to move forward and to learn what I could from what happened and help other people.’
In the days that followed the prank call, the nurse who transferred Mel and Mike’s call, committed suicide because she felt responsible for the breach
Ruth and Eamonn spoke to Mel about how the prank call has impacted her life seven years on
Despite her best efforts to move forward, Mel admitted that the hoax still haunts her in every aspect of her life, including her career.
‘It depends on what I’m doing and where I’m working. I kid you not. two weeks ago, I had a contract ripped up at a radio station.
‘I hadn’t mentioned the prank call or anything for two years and still to this day effects my employment, my relationships and my friendships.
‘It’s something that is always going to be there. I don’t want it to define me but I can’t avoid it because it still interferes with my life.’
Mel also spoke about her reason for attending Jacintha’s inquest in 2014.
‘When it happened, it was almost instant that I went into a place where I struggled to explain what it was like. it was this intense guilt.
‘The first question I asked my bosses was, “was she a mother?” and when they said yes, my whole life just turned into somebody else’s life. That guilt didn’t go away until I had done what I felt I could to redeem myself.’
Revealing that she asked Jacintha’s family’s permission to attend, Mel continued to comment: ‘My lawyers spoke to Jacintha’s family’s lawyers at the time about whether they wanted me there.
Mel revealed that she attended Jacintha’s inquest in 2014 to get closure and to provide the nurse’s family with answers
‘It was always about providing any unanswered questions for them, they welcomed me to the inquest.
‘I went there and wrote my will the night before, thinking that I wasn’t going to go back to Australia.
‘It was very intense and there were a few scary moments, but to be there gave me closure.’
‘I feel that at the end of the inquest when I looked into the family’s eyes to apologise, I felt a connection with Jacintha’s daughter and I could see that she knew I didn’t take that joke as a joke.
‘I took it seriously with what happened, and I was so sorry about what happened to her mother.’