Monday 18 November 2019

Kate prank call station to donate at least €400,000 to family of tragic nurse Jacintha Saldanha

The Duchess of Cambridge leaving the King Edward VII hospital in London where she had been admitted with severe morning sickness
The Duchess of Cambridge leaving the King Edward VII hospital in London where she had been admitted with severe morning sickness
Jacintha Saldanha

THE Australian radio station behind the Kate Middleton prank call will donate its advertising revenue until the end of the year to a fund for the family of the nurse who apparently took her own life after the stunt.

Southern Cross Austereo, parent company of Sydney radio station 2Day FM, said it would donate all advertising revenue, with a minimum contribution of A$500,000 (€400,000), to a memorial fund for the nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the telephone at the hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife, Kate.

The company has also cancelled its Christmas party this week, saying it would give the money that would have been spent on it to charity.

A spokeswoman for the company said it would be "inappropriate" to go ahead with the Sydney staff Christmas party.

Austereo has suspended the Sydney-based announcers, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, scrapped their "Hot 30" programme and suspended advertising on the station in the wake of the Saldanha's death. Southern Cross said it would resume advertising on its station from Thursday.

"It is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts continue to be with the family," Southern Cross chief executive officer Rhys Holleran said in a statement.

"We hope that by contributing to a memorial fund we can help to provide the Saldanha family with the support they need at this very difficult time."

A post-mortem examination is due to be held today on Jacinta's bidy.

British MP Keith Vaz met the nurse's family in Parliament last night and said they had been left "devastated" by the loss of a "loving mother and a loving wife".

The family also visited the King Edward VII's Hospital, while a memorial service will be held later this week.

Flanked by Ms Saldanha's husband Benedict Barboza and her two teenage children, Mr Vaz said: "They just want me to say that they are extremely grateful to the public here in the United Kingdom and throughout the world who have sent them messages of condolences and support following the death of Jacintha - a loving mother and a loving wife.

"This is a close family. They are devastated by what has happened. They miss her every moment of every day but they are really grateful to the support of the British public and to the public overseas for the messages of support and kindness."

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