Saldanha answered the phone when two Australian disc jockeys rang up the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for severe morning sickness last week. The DJs, who were impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, later broadcast the call, which included confidential details about the duchess’ condition.
Saldanha was found dead three days later. Although police have made no connection between Saldanha’s death and the prank call, people from London to Sydney have assumed she died because of stress from the call.
Australia’s media watchdog, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, said on Thursday it was launching an official investigation into whether the radio station, 2DayFM, breached its broadcasting license conditions and the industry code of practice.
The ACMA said in a statement it would examine whether 2DayFM violated standards of privacy and decency or broke rules of consent. The Commercial Radio Code of Practice prohibits the broadcast of recorded private conversations without participants’ permission.
Stations found to have violated the code are usually given a warning or told to train staff in proper procedures. In extreme cases, a station could lose its license.
Southern Cross Austereo, the station’s parent company, has said it will cooperate with any investigation.
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