Prank call DJ: I got far more abuse than my male co-presenter

Mel Greig told the Radio Festival that the media fixated on her, while Michael Christian was excused as exuberant

One of the Australian radio DJs involved in the prank royal phone call that led a London nurse to take her own life has said she may have been vilified more than her male co-presenter because she is a woman.

Mel Greig has not worked since the incident in December 2012. Her fellow presenter Michael Christian was later named “Top Jock” by the Southern Cross Austereo network.

Greig told the Radio Festival in Salford on Tuesday that she did not want to appear insensitive to the family of nurse Jacintha Saldanha, who killed herself three days after taking the prank call about the Duchess of Cambridge.

Asked whether she believed the media had treated her differently to her co-presenter, Greig said: “I have only just started to really assess this now. I don’t want to be insensitive for the Saldanha family, this was a tragic event for them. I don’t want it to be about me, I don’t want to be the victim.

“But I was vilified the most. I don’t know why the media fixated on me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a female but it did feel that the trolling and the press were focusing more on me.”

Presenter Daisy McAndrew, who interviewed Greig at the festival, said: “When I look at the cuttings, it seems to me that there is an element of that, he tends to be called things like youthfully exuberant or boyish.

“It reminded me of a sportsman or businessman who get caught and are put on the naughty step, but if a woman does the same thing very often the media have a different attitude and she is going to be vilified and be a Lady Macbeth.”

Greig said: “It did feel like that, it did.” She added that she and Christian had “gone down two different paths” since the incident.

“He wanted to continue with his career, he had only started his job that week,” she said. “For me, I could not picture myself walking back into the station.”

Greig said in a Newsnight interview this week that death threats had been made against her and bullets sent in the post, but she now wanted to return to radio presenting.


John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

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