Mass held for nurse found hanging after royal prank call
Husband of late Jacintha Saldanha, Benedict Barboza, center, reacts as he and his son Junal, 16, left and daughter Lisha, 14, speak to the media outside the Westminster Cathedral in London after a memorial service, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. (AP / Sang Tan)
The Associated Press
Published Saturday, December 15, 2012 8:26AM EST
LONDON -- A service was held in London on Saturday to mourn the death of a nurse found hanging in her room three days after she had been duped by a hoax call from Australian DJs about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge.
The death of Jacintha Saldanha, 46, on Dec. 7 is being investigated as an apparent suicide.
Saldanha's family gave an emotional tribute outside of London's Westminster Cathedral on Saturday following a memorial Mass mourning the loss of the mother of two.
Her husband Benedict, flanked by his two children, called Jacintha "the light of my darkness," saying through tears that "nobody can take that place in my life ever again."
"I feel a part of me has been ripped out," he said. "Without your beautiful smile and sparkling personality, the house is an empty place to live."
Saldanha's son Junal spoke of the encouragement he had received from his mother, whose priority for her children was a good education. "You were the core of the family who kept us together," he said. "You worked tirelessly to give us everything that we have today."
Saldanha answered the phone at London's King Edward VII Hospital when the DJs called seeking information about the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, who was being treated for severe morning sickness.
The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, and Saldanha was tricked into transferring the call to another nurse, who revealed private details about the duchess' condition.
Saldanha's daughter Lisha said she will miss her mother's laughter, saying the family is "shattered."
Her father, Benedict, expressed thanks for an outpouring of support following the death of Saldanha - singling out the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for their kind words upon the loss of his wife.
The DJs, 2DayFM's Mel Greig and Michael Christian, apologized for the prank in emotional interviews on Australian TV, saying they never expected their call would be put through. The show was taken off the air and the DJs have been suspended.