Australian DJs Michael Christian and Mel Greig have broken their silence on their royal prank call gone horribly wrong, reports the Guardian, tearfully telling an interviewer that they're "shattered, gutted, heartbroken" over the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha. "No one could've imagined this to happen," Christian said. "Naturally, we're shattered. We're people, too." "There's not a minute that goes by that I don't think about what (Saldanha's) family is going through, and the thought that we may have contributed to it is gut-wrenching," says Greig. The DJs meant no harm, adds Christian: "At every single point it was innocent on our behalf."
Innocent or not, Greig and Christian "will not return to the airwaves until further notice," says parent company Southern Cross Austereo, which has also axed their show, halted all prank calls, and nixed ads amid an internal review, CNN reports. But the station is doubling down on its decision to air the prank, saying that it had tried to contact King Edward VII's Hospital no fewer than five times to talk about the recording before airing it. "It is absolutely true to say that we actually did attempt to contact those people on multiple occasions," says Southern Cross' CEO. It's not clear if the hospital responded, notes the AFP, but it has mounted a withering assault against the station in the aftermath of Saldanha's death.