Mel Grieg Opens Up About Scary Thoughts Following Tragic Radio Prank
Content warning: This article features mentions of suicide.
Australian radio DJ Mel Grieg has opened up about the 2012 radio prank that ended with British nurse Jacintha Saldanha taking her own life.
The prank involved Grieg and 2DayFM co-host Michael Christian posing as Queen Elizabeth in order to ask about the wellbeing of Duchess Kate Middleton, who was being treated at the King Edward VII hospital in London during her pregnancy.
Speaking to UK morning show, 'This Morning', Grieg explained that it has been "hard to live" since the death of Saldanha in 2012.
"There was a point about six months after the prank call where I contemplated if I should still be here,” she told co-hosts Phillip Schofield and Ruth Langsford via video link from Sydney.
She added that she felt "guilt" and was the target of online trolling with people telling her she didn't "deserve to be alive".
"I did face the battle to save my own life,” she explained.
Grieg went on to say that she ended up "choosing life" and made the decision to "move forward and learn what I could from what happened to help other people".
Although the prank has continued to impact her employment, her relationships, and friendships.
"It's something that's always going to be there, I don't want it to define me but I can't avoid it because it still interferes with my life."
Grieg is hoping to make a difference with what she's learnt in the last seven years and has used her platform to speak up about mental health issues and endometriosis.
"I was a normal, happy, healthy girl. This tragedy turned into major depression and that can happen to anybody, we all go through bad things," she said, citing the cyberbullying she underwent.
"I try to raise awareness for all those things with the platform I've been given."
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.