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Nurse In Duchess Kate's Phone Hoax Found Dead From Apparent Suicide

Nurse In Duchess Kate's Phone Hoax Found Dead From Apparent Suicide


Airdate: 12/07/2012

The humliated nurse at the center of the pregnant Kate phone prank has committed suicide.

46-year-old mother of two, Jacintha Saldanha was found dead at her home close to the hospital where Kate was treated for severe morning sickness.

Saldanha's voice could be heard taking the call she believed was from the Queen.

An Australian radio DJ called the hospital saying. "Oh, hello there. Could I please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter."

"Oh yes, just hold on ma'am," said the receptionist. She then transferred the call to another nurse who gave intimate information about Kate's condition.

"Yes, she's quite stable at the moment. She hasn't had any retching with me since I've been on duty, and she has been sleeping on and off," said Saldanha.

Saldanha's fellow nurses reporting for work today were overcome with emotion at the tragedy.

"Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much loved and valued colleague," said one nurse.

The hospital's Chief Executive indicated Saldanha had taken her unwitting role in the hoax very hard.

"We can confirm that Jacintha was recently the victim of a hoax call to the hospital. The hospital had been supporting her through this very difficult time," he said.

She had worked at the prestigious King Edward VII Hospital for four years. She and other staff gave Duchess Kate the yellow roses she was carrying when she left the hospital on Thursday.

Kate and Prince William said they are deeply saddened by the nurse's death.

"Their thoughts and prayers and with Jacintha Saldanha's family friends and colleagues at this very sad time," a palace spokesman said.

The suspected suicide sent shock waves across America as the prank suddenly turned into a human tragedy. Saldanha had been ridiculed for failing to realize the call was a prank.

CBS Correspondent Monica Villamizar told INSIDE EDITION, "A lot of the blame was placed on the hospital workers who were sort of duped or fooled, if you will, by these two young radio hosts with accents that did not really resemble accents of the royal family."

Now, those two Australian radio hosts are being blamed for causing the humiliated nurse to take her own life. The radio station said the pair are both deeply shocked by the tragedy.

Royal expert Victoria Arbiter told INSIDE EDITION the tragic aftermath of the hoax is being greeted with horror and anger.

"All over the world, people seem to think that these Australian DJs have blood on their hands," said Arbiter. "As stupid as everybody thought the call was, nobody could have possibly imagined such dire consequences, and the fallout has been really dramatic."

INSIDE EDITION's Facebook page is inundated with reaction to the tragic twist.

"She wasn't to blame for this, the DJs are! Tragic. So sad," reads one post.

"So sad that somebody's stupid idea of a funny joke turned into something like this," said another.

Psychologist Jeff Gardiere says Saldanha couldn't face the worldwide ridicule over the hoax.

"People just gave her a very hard time. Humiliated in front of the entire world, personally, professionally. Perhaps in her mind she felt that there was no reason to live," said Gardere.


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