Max Moore-Wilton, the chairman of the Australian media company that owns the UK radio station responsible for a now infamous prank telephone call to nurse Jacintha Saldanha, which led her to suicide, has dismissed the controversy, saying "shit happens." Chairman Moore-Wilton was speaking at the annual general meeting of Southern Cross Media, owner of 2Day FM radio, and downplayed the incident. According to an October 22 report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Moore-Milton said to shareholders "These incidents were unfortunate, no doubt about that," adding "But in the immortal words of someone whose identity I cannot recall, shit happens." he said.
"I think it was a one-sentence comment, wasn’t it?” Moore-Wilton said when asked whether he regretted what he said. “I have no comment, I made a comment in one sentence. I am glad the media is so busy,” he added.
The 46-yearold Saldanha, born in Mangalore, India, was the married mother of two. She was found unconscious in December 2012 in London’s King Edward VII Hospital where she was working as a senior nurse. This followed a call from 2Day FM radio shock-jockeys Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who had called the hospital on December 4, 2013 posing as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. Not perceiving that theirs was a prank call and broadcast on radio, Saldanha transferred it to a colleague who then provided the radio jockets with information about Prince William's then pregnant wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. Just three days later, Saldanha hung herself.
Southern Cross was forced to suspend all advertising on 2Day FM after the scandal broke. Initially, neither Ms Greig nor Mr Christian faced charges over the controversy. They continued to be paid by Southern Cross Media, even while their show was cancelled. However, Ms Greig is expected to travel to London to give evidence at an inquest into their alleged role in Saldanha’s suicide. At the upcoming hearing, the nurse who was duty on the night Saldanha died will testify. The inquest into Saldanha’s death has already been postposted twice. A new date has not been set.
Keith Vaz, a Minister of Parliament who has helped Saldanha's family soon after her death, branded Moore-Wilton’s comments "an insult to the memory of a loving mother and wife." He said, "The radio station has clearly not learnt the lessons from this incident," adding "Mr Moore-Wilton must apologise for his comments immediately."
Saldanha reportedly criticized Christian and Greig in one of several notes left behind at King Edward VII's Hospital, where her body was found in December last year.
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