Mel Greig: Unfairly blamed and I have her sympathy
Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse who tragically took her own life after taking the prank call made by the Today Network Hot 30 hosts in 2012; had no history of mental illness or self-harm according to her husband.
Mel Greig, who also attended the inquest in London, asked to address the court and the family. Coroner Fiona Wilcox said:
‘‘I do not require Ms Greig in this regard,’’
“I believe she may feel unfairly blamed and I have her sympathy and I take note she has come to the court today and made herself available.”
It has been reported in The Australian, that she also submitted a handwritten note to the coroner that was not made public.
“This court is not to apportion blame in any way.’’ Coroner Fiona Wilcox said:
Both the lawyers for the Saldanha family and the hospital where she worked demanded that SCA Chief Rhys Holleran should give evidence in person or via satellite. This was rejected by Coroner Fiona Wilcox.
In 2013 Southern Cross Austereo secured the right to be represented at the inquest and has submitted evidence. SCA advised that calls were made to the hospital to seek approval for the prank call. It is reported that they did not reveal what was said, who answered the calls or whether they were also recorded.
News.com.au reported: Mr Holleran said the call was answered twice by a woman and once by a man but Mr Cooper said there were no males on shift at that time.
“Just because he says it’s so in his statement doesn’t mean it is so,” Mr Cooper said demanding the radio chief be compelled to give evidence either in person or via satellite.
Dr Wilcox said the follow up calls — lasting 35, 18, 17 and 45 seconds — were most likely answered by Saldanha and potentially could have added to her mental state but said Mr Halloran’s evidence would only be hearsay.
In a statement read to court, station owner Southern Cross Media Group chief executive Rhys Holleran said his network took full responsibility for the broadcast and did not apportion blame to its presenters.
“All of our staff have been deeply affected,” he said in his statement.
“The two presenters have each told me on a number of occasions of their distress and sadness.”
The coroner then rejected applications from lawyers for the family and Saldanha’s hospital to have Southern Cross Media Group chief executive Rhys Holleran to give evidence.