Every detail that emerges about the death of King Edward VII Hospital nurse Jacintha Saldanha just keeps getting sadder, and unfortunately, the blame game has only escalated over the past week. The nurse, who was working as a receptionist when she patched Queen Elizabeth-impersonating Australian radio hosts through to the nurse treating Kate Middleton, left three notes when she hanged herself last week. According to U.K. tabloid The Mirror, it seems that the 46-year-old mother of two felt persecuted by senior staffers at the hospital.
“One of the letters, which is the longest, deals with the hospital and is critical in its tone,” a source reportedly told the Mirror. “Needless to say, [husband Ben Barboza] wants a full inquiry into what happened, and he wants to make sure the truth comes out. Within the letter Jacintha calls into question some of the treatment she received at the hospital.”
For its part, the hospital says they offered Saldanha support after the prank call. “We would reiterate that Jacintha was an outstanding nurse, doing her duty caring for sick patients,” a spokesperson for the hospital told the Daily Mail. “Following the hoax call hospital management offered her their support and told her that they considered her the victim of a cruel hoax. They stood by her actions, and made it clear there was no criticism of her, and that there would be no disciplinary action of any kind.”
Of course, others are still pointing fingers at 2Day FM and the DJs who made the call, Mel Greig and Michael Christian. Yesterday, the Australian Communications and Media Authority said it was investigating the radio station to determine whether it violated its broadcast license by allowing the prank to air. According to The Australian, the ACMA code of practice states: “A licensee must not broadcast the words of an identifiable person unless: a) that person has been informed in advance or a reasonable person would be aware that the words may be broadcast; or b) in the case of words which have been recorded without the knowledge of the person, that person has subsequently, but prior to the broadcast, expressed consent to the broadcast of the word.”
The Mirror reports that the station’s staff has been moved to safe houses as public outcry over the stunt has escalated.
Speaking on Australian TV on Monday, Christian and Greig said they were devastated by Saldanha’s death. “And I suppose, you know the joke was always on us, not anyone else,” Christian told Today Tonight. “It wasn’t about trying to fool someone. I mean we just assumed that with the voices that we put on, you know, we were going to get told off and that was the gag — in us.”
[Photos: Getty Images, Today Tonight]