Australian radio station 2Day FM donating $520,000 to nurse’s family

By Daniel S Levine,

Australian radio station 2Day FM, which aired the prank phone call to the London hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated, has agreed to donate $520,000 to the family of Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who took her own life on Friday.

Saldanha was found dead at a London address near the King Edward VII Hospital, where the duchess was being treated for morning sickness. DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian called the hospital on Dec. 4 pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. Saldanha was the nurse who picked up the phone and transferred them to the duchess’ ward, where they were given new information on her condition by another nurse.

2Day FM, based in Sydney, quickly released a statement, expressing their condolences and noting that Greig and Christian have both suspended themselves indefinitely. They are reportedly seeking counseling.

On Monday, 2Day FM announced that it was cancelling their show, reports Businessweek.

The BBC reports that the station has agreed to donate 500,000 Australian dollars ($520,000 US) to Saldanha’s family.

“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,” Rhys Holleran, the CEO for Southern Cross Austereo, which owns 2Day FM, said Tuesday. It cancelled its Christmas party and said that the funds will come from all advertising revenue for the rest of the year.

As for Saldanha’s family, they are “devastated,” said MP Keith Vaz, who met with them Monday in Parliament. “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,” Vaz added.



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