A nurse who was duped by two Australian radio DJs seeking information on Kate Middleton's hospitalization earlier this week has been found dead in an apparent suicide, according to the hospital.
In a statement to TVGuide.com, King Edward VII Hospital said that Jacintha Saldanha was found dead Friday morning near the hospital and was the recent "victim of a hoax call." Scotland Yard is treating the death as a possible suicide.
"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies at this time are with her family and friends," hospital CEO John Lofthouse said in the statement. "Everyone is shocked by the loss of a much-loved and valued colleague."
On Tuesday, Australian DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian called the hospital at 5:30 a.m. as part of their show. Greig and Christian put on British accents and pretended to be the Queen of England and Prince Charles, asking to speak with "my granddaughter Kate," who was hospitalized Monday for acute morning sickness. Saldanha, who was working at the reception desk at the time, provided details about Middleton's condition that were broadcast on the air. Audio of the prank call was published by several websites Wednesday and Thursday.
After a public rebuke from the hospital, the radio station issued an apology Wednesday, saying: "We were very surprised that our call was put through. We thought we'd be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents. We're very sorry if we've caused any issues and we're glad to hear that Kate is doing well."The station and the DJs have yet to comment on Saldanha's death. The hospital added Friday that it had been "supporting [Saldanha] throughout this difficult time."
Middleton, who was discharged Thursday, and Prince William also issued a statement Friday after hearing the news.
"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jacintha Saldanha," the statement read. "Their royal highnesses were looked after so wonderfully well at all times by everybody at King Edward VII Hospital, and their thoughts and prayers are with Jacintha Saldanha's family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time."Saldanha had worked at the hospital for more than four years.
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