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Royal prank radio station to pay $525,000 to family of dead nurse

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Ben Barboza, the husband of Jacintha Saldanha, a former nurse at King Edward VII hospital who was involved in a hoax call concerning the Duchess of Cambridge, arrives with family members at the Houses of Parliament on Monday.

LONDON — A radio station is to pay at least $525,000 to a memorial fund in the name of a nurse found dead after two DJs duped her into putting their call through to the hospital ward where Duchess Kate was being treated for an extreme form of morning sickness.

Jacintha Saldanha was found dead in London on Friday after the prank in which Australian radio hosts Mel Greig and Michael Christian pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles in the call to London’s King Edward VII’s Hospital.



Greig and Christian spoke Monday about their distress over Saldanha’s death, saying it had left them "shattered, gutted, heartbroken."

DJs speak out, say they're 'heartbroken' over death of nurse in royal hoax call

Police have said the circumstances of the death are "unexplained"; an autopsy was due to be carried out Tuesday.

Prime Minister David Cameron said what happened to Saldanha was "an absolute tragedy for the family."

A statement posted on the website of radio station 2Day FM’s parent company, Southern Cross Austereo, said that advertising on the station would resume Dec. 13. It was suspended as news of Saldanha’s death caused widespread outrage.

The company said that all profits made from the ads until the end of the year would be donated to "an appropriate fund that will directly benefit the family of Jacintha Saldanha."

Prank-call radio station suspends DJs, ads; dead nurse's family 'deeply saddened'

"A minimum contribution of $500,000 [Australian, about $525,000 U.S.] will be made. SCA today reiterates its deep regret for what has taken place in these tragic and unforeseen circumstances and offers its condolences to the family of Jacintha Saldanha," the statement added.

The company’s chief executive, Rhys Holleran, was quoted as saying the company was "very sorry for what has happened."

Radio station owner calls death of nurse who took royal prank call 'truly tragic'

A statement from the hospital’s chairman, Lord Glenarthur, welcomed news that Southern Cross Media Group was "set to make a sizeable donation to the family."

The hospital has set up the "Jacintha Saldanha Memorial Fund to benefit her husband and children at this difficult time."

"I am pleased to announce that many donations have already been made from around the world," Lord Glenarthur said.  "I have today read that Southern Cross Media Group have pledged to make a minimum donation of $500,000 Australian Dollars to an appropriate fund.  We would certainly welcome such a donation to the Jacintha Saldanha Memorial Fund."

The radio company has suspended Greig and Christian and scrapped their "Hot 30" program. 

Reuters contributed to this report.

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