One of the Australian radio DJs involved in the prank royal phone call in December 2012 has spoken about the death threats made against her following the incident that led a nurse to take her life.
Mel Greig said that bullets bearing her name and that of her colleague Michael Christian were sent to police following the call to the London hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for acute morning sickness.
Jacintha Saldanha took the call from the radio presenters, who were pretending to be the Queen and the Prince of Wales, and put it through to a colleague believing it was genuine. Saldanha killed herself three days later.
“I was in lockdown for months. I’ve still got a stalker, a harasser, that has been around for 18 months who won’t stop until I take my own life, which is not going to happen,” Greig told BBC2’s Newsnight in an interview to be broadcast on Monday.
Greig said the threats made against her, as well as her mother, were disgusting and hypocritical. “They are calling me a bully – ‘Look what you’ve done, you’re a horrible person.’
“What do you think you are doing to me by writing these tweets and telling me to end my life or blood on my hands, you don’t deserve to live?” she asked.
“They are doing the same thing to me. Trolling needs to stop. Luckily I can handle it now, but there was a time when I could not handle it and I believed it.”
Greig resigned from Sydney’s 2Day FM last year and sued its owner, Southern Cross Austereo. The company admitted that she had not been responsible for broadcasting the call and had suggested it be edited before being aired.
The former presenter urged anyone in broadcasting to consider the potential consequences of a prank call before making one. “If you don’t know them, if you don’t know how they can handle it, don’t do it,” Greig said. “You can not take the risk that someone’s mental health is going to be able to handle that.”
Greig gave a statement and apologised at an inquest held in London last month, at which coroner Fiona Wilcox concluded that Jacintha Saldanha had killed herself.
The coroner said the call had been “clearly pressing on her mind” but that she had had “appropriate” support from the King Edward VII hospital in central London.
The Crown Prosecution Service said in February 2013 that there was no evidence to bring a charge of manslaughter against Greig and Christian, who now works for Fox FM in Melbourne. The station is also owned by Southern Cross Austereo.