There are many conversations to be had about the tragic death of Jacintha Saldanha, the King Edward VII nurse who took her own life last week, after she learned the “Queen” and “Prince Charles” that she patched through to Kate Middleton’s private ward were actually Australian radio DJs with the show 2DayFM. The pair, named Michael Christian and Mel Greig, gave an interview on the Australian show, “Today Tonight,” on which they explained that they never expected to make it all the way to Kate’s private nurse, who then told these DJs confidential medical information about the duchess’s condition. (She had been hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum, an acute form of morning sickness.) By their own description, the call was intended to be ridiculous: they spoke in posh British accents and barked like there were corgis in the background. ”The call itself was not malicious,” Christian said. “From start to finish, there was no harm intended.”
“The accents were terrible,” Greig explained. “You know it was designed to be stupid. We were never meant to get that far from the little corgis barking in the background – we obviously wanted it to be a joke.” Added Christian, “I suppose, you know, the joke was always on us, not anyone else. It wasn’t about trying to fool someone. I mean we just assumed that with the voices that we put on, you know, we were going to get told off and that was the gag – on us.”
The pre-recorded segment was first vetted by producers and lawyers before it aired. Although the royal family had not complained about the breach of security, Saldanha apparently could not live with herself. She allegedly took her own life in a London park on Friday morning. She is survived by her husband and two teenaged children; by all accounts, she was an excellent nurse.
We could talk about suicide prevention, warning signs for mental anguish, medical privacy, intrusion into celebs’ personal lives. I’m sure plenty of other conversations are being had on other blogs. But what I want to talk is the cruelty of radio show prank calls. Keep reading »
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few days, then allow me to be the first to share the breaking news: Princess Kate is pregnant! Now feel free to join in with the rest of the world as it goes absolutely completely bonkers in reaction.
I understand that a new baby, especially one of royal lineage, is a huge deal. And sure, I’m also super curious whether the wee-one-to-be is going to have a head full of shiny, chestnut locks like his or her mother. But honestly? The most I can muster up for Kate right now, beyond my heartfelt congratulations, is my deepest sympathies. Keep reading »
Jacintha Saldanha, the receptionist and nurse who put prank callers from an Australian radio station through to Kate Middleton’s personal nurse while the duchess was hospitalized earlier this week, has been found dead in a London park from a suspected suicide.
The prank callers were reportedly told confidential information about Kate’s pregnancy. Middleton is reportedly less than 12 weeks and was hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness. Keep reading »
Sure, I’m excited that Kate Middleton is pregnant with The Most Important Baby Ever. (More than “excited” — I screamed out loud, actually.) But as usual, I’m more interested in what’s been going on in Prince Harry’s royal drawers, not Prince William’s.
C’mon. You would kinda expect to see “PRINCE HARRY LOVE CHILD!!!” spread across the cover of The National Enquirer after that whole gettin’-naked-in Vegas-thing happened. I can’t be the only one to wonder why we’ve never heard about some rich leggy blonde chickswelling with princely sperm. Here are some theories …
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Given the Gawker mandate to be glib and ruthless, whether or not they know what they’re talking about, I won’t pretend to be shocked by a dashed-off remark in Monday’s post on Kate Middleton’s pregnancy:
The Palace also reported that Kate was admitted to the hospital today with “hyperemesis gravidarum,” which is what they call regular old morning sickness when you are a princess.
Nor, for more or less the same reasons, was it surprising to watch the ladies of “The View” dismiss the duchess’s condition with a flurry of bubbly interruptions, ignoring a nurse’s earnest response to Barbara Walters’ half-hearted question about whether HG is serious: “It can be,” the nurse said sheepishly. (In an open letter to the duchess, HG sufferer Betsy Shaw gives Kate “permission to slap” Walters.)
I have no idea whether Kate has HG or not. But the fact remains that it can be a brutal, crippling condition that goes largely ignored and untreated, partly due to its overlap with ordinary pregnancy sickness and partly to our attitude toward suffering and the suffering of pregnant women in particular. As Atul Gawande noted in an indispensable 1999 New Yorker piece on nausea and vomiting, “A surprising number of doctors still believe in the discredited Freudian theory that hyperemesis is due to an unconscious rejection of pregnancy.” Little seems to have changed since the last century — or the one before, for that matter. Keep reading »
Hooray! Kate Middleton is pregnant! Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince William and Duchess Catherine are expecting, after months of tongue-wagging every time she wore a baggy dress, wouldn’t eat peanuts, or sipped a glass of water. The confirmation came after Kate Middleton was admitted to a London hospital this morning for severe morning sickness. Aw, even princesses get the pukes when they’re knocked up. The palace confirmed Kate will stay in the hospital for several days. The new baby will be the first grandkid for both the royal family and the Middletons and will be third in line for the throne, regardless of his or her gender, after Prince Charles and Prince William. Congrats, Will and Kate. (Um, what do British people say in moments of celebration?) Cheers! Pip Pip! Tally ho! [The Today Show] [Image: Getty] Keep reading »