Well, we guess that gag-order has been revoked!
Michael Christian and Mel Greig, the Australian DJs who made the now infamous prank call to Kate Middleton's hospital — a call that is suspected to have contributed to the death of registered nurse Jacintha Saldanha — have spoken out for the first time since news of the tragedy broke last Friday.
Christian: "When we thought about making a call, [we thought] it was going to go for 30 seconds, we were going to be hung up on, and that was it. As innocent as that."
Mel: "We thought a hundred people before us would've tried it. We thought it was such a silly idea and the accents were terrible, and not for a second did we expect to speak to Kate, let alone have a conversation with anyone at the hospital. We wanted to be hung up on… [When I heard what hat happened] It was the worst phone call I've ever had in my life."
Christian: "[I feel] Shattered, gutted, heartbroken and obviously, you know… our deepest sympathies are with the family and the friends. Prank calls are made every day, on every radio station in every country, around the world and they have been for a long time, and no-one could've imagined this to happen.”
Mel: "There's not a minute that goes by where we don't think about her family and what they must be going through, and the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching."
The Hot 30 show co-hosts also spoke to Today Tonight, essentially saying the same thing.
Southern Cross Austereo (SCA), the parent company of the radio station Mel and Christian worked for, has canceled their Hot 30 show, has suspended all advertising on air, AND has put a stop to all prank calls.
SCA chief executive officer Rhys Holleran said in a statement:
"First and foremost we would like to express our deep and sincere condolences to the family of Jacintha Saldanha for their loss. We are very sorry for what has happened.
As a leading commercial radio broadcaster, we must ensure that our internal processes and protocols are robust.
We don't claim to be perfect and we always strive to do better. We have initiated a detailed and rigorous review of our policies and procedures to inform any improvements we can make.
We are also providing support to our people who are deeply saddened by this tragic and unforseen event.
SCA and the hosts of the radio program have also decided that they will not return to the airwaves until further notice.
The Company has conducted a review of the process undertaken in the airing of the segment which has found that company protocols were adhered to.
Several attempts were made by the production team to discuss the segment with the hospital, but with no success.
The segment was referred to an internal review process which included internal legal review and authorisation was granted to broadcast.
The Company does not consider that the broadcast of the segment has breached any relevant law, regulation or code. The Company will fully cooperate with any investigations.
SCA is committed to upholding rigorous processes and broadcasting standards. The business is conducting a comprehensive review of company policies and processes."
Hmm, so it sounds like SCA would stand behind their DJs if Scotland Yard DID decide to pursue legal action… interesting.
Oh what an unfortunate, harrowing tragedy! Our hearts go out to all involved!
[Images via WENN/2Day FM.]