AN AUSTRALIAN DJ who made a prank call to a hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated is to give evidence at the inquest of a nurse who answered the phone and was found dead three days later.
Lawyers for Mel Greig, who made the call alongside fellow 2Day FM DJ Michael Christian, said yesterday she was “determined to address any questions surrounding her role in these tragic events as part of the inquest”.
Jacintha Saldanha was found dead in nurses’ quarters three days after she took the call at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, where Kate was being treated for severe morning sickness in December.
Ms Saldanha, a mother of two from Bristol, answered the phone and put the pair through to a colleague, who gave out details of the duchess’s condition in a conversation aired on the Australian radio station.
The death of Ms Saldanha sparked a worldwide backlash against Ms Greig and Mr Christian.
Yesterday it was confirmed that Ms Greig was to give evidence at the inquest, which will take place in September.
A statement released through lawyers Slater & Gordon said Ms Greig had applied for and been granted permission to appear at the inquest.
“Ms Saldanha’s suicide was a devastating tragedy and Ms Greig’s thoughts have been with the family ever since,” the statement said.
“Ms Greig fully understands their need for answers, which is why she has taken this step to appear as an individual at the inquest.”
The statement added: “She is determined to address any questions surrounding her role in these tragic events as part of the inquest.
“Ms Greig wants the family to know she will answer any questions the coroner or the family’s lawyers may have at the inquest.”
Last month, Coroner Fiona Wilcox granted anonymity to a duty nurse who may have been one of the last people to have spoken to Ms Saldanha on the night of the call.
The inquest, which will be held at the Council House Chambers in Marylebone, London, is set to hear from nursing and security staff at the hospital, plus police who will be able to give details about the scene of the death.
A spokesman for Slater & Gordon said it was not yet known whether Ms Greig would give evidence in person or via video-link, and details had not been finalised.
Speaking on behalf of Ms Saldanha’s family, the Labour MP and Commons home affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz said yesterday: “The family of Jacintha Saldanha welcome the latest development concerning the application by the Australian DJ Mel Greig to appear before the inquest.
“This will now allow the coroner to explore the role of the DJs in Jacintha’s tragic death.
“The family feel this will give them the opportunity to ensure that all relevant parties are before the inquest, including the hospital, the DJs and the radio station.
“They are, however, distressed at the publication of the content of one of the suicide notes, which, of course, was private.”